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3 Takeaways From West Virginia’s Backyard Brawl Victory



In West Virginia’s 81-56 victory over Pitt in the Backyard Brawl, many people found out what this WVU team can be identified as. This Mountaineer team is going to compete every game, something that didn’t exist last season. Let’s take a look at three takeaways from the Backyard Brawl.

West Virginia’s Offense Shows Potential

West Virginia’s offense on Friday proved to be a potential challenge for other opponents. The Mountaineers shot 30-of-57 (53%) and connected on 8-three’s on 21 attempts. WVU’s Joe Toussaint (18), Erik Stevenson (16), Mohamed Wague (11) and Emmitt Matthews (10) all scored in double-figures. West Virginia’s first half offense was something that was not expected this season at all. Heading into the year, many people questioned where WVU’s points would come from. The Mountaineers found an inside presence in Wague and have guys like Toussaint, Stevenson, Matthews and Mitchell who can score on their own.

Joe Toussaint is a Winner

Against the Panthers, Toussaint posted a +27 plus-minus in the Backyard Brawl. Toussaint, a transfer from Iowa, recorded a game-high of 18 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. The Bronx native also had five assists and four rebounds.

Toussaint is the missing piece that this West Virginia team needed. In the transfer portal, the coaching staff loved Toussaint’s assist-to-turnover ratio as well as his competitiveness.

“Honestly, I’m just a confident person. Erik [Stevenson] and I are always in the gym working,” Toussaint said postgame.

West Virginia needs to play Toussaint as much as they possibly can. It’s games this like where experience matters, Toussaint is a four-year Power-5 veteran.

Friday Marked WVU’s First Complete Game in Two Seasons

Last season was miserable for West Virginia; even Bob Huggins would admit that.

The Backyard Brawl on Friday night marked the first game in a long time where West Virginia’s offense and defense showed a complete game for 40 minutes. Even WVU’s weakness early-on, turnovers, wasn’t a negative factor. West Virginia only turned the ball over 11 times.

West Virginia scored nearly 50 points in first half and held Pitt to 20 points in the second half. Regardless of how Pitt has been, last year’s team wouldn’t have blown any team out on the road. This team came in week one and controlled the game in a true road environment. WVU fans should be excited because there’s potential for this team to be much better than last season.

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