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3 Takeaways from WVU Basketball’s Win Over Buffalo



Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

In the midst of an off night playing wise, West Virginia held Buffalo off in the late stages of Sunday’s game. Let’s take a look at three takeaways from the game.

Emmitt Matthews Very Well Could be Team MVP

Despite not playing, WVU F Emmitt Matthews proved that he very well be the most valuable piece for this West Virginia team. Matthews missed the Buffalo game due to a left knee injury he sustained in the UAB game on Dec. 10. Through 10 games, Matthews is averaging 10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists. The Tacoma, Wa. native has improved his shot, recording 47 percent from the field, 48 percent from three and 90 percent from the free throw line.

Against Buffalo, West Virginia controlled the game but struggled to pull away. With 11 minutes to go, the Bulls were down just one point and it took a 35-18 run to pull away.

Matthews’ stat line isn’t as pretty as the eye test shows. The fifth-year senior has been playing the most minutes and playing them with efficiency. Erik Stevenson, Tre Mitchell, Joe Toussaint are very valuable, but Matthews may be the most valuable.

Jimmy Bell Once Again Shows Signs

Jimmy Bell’s jump back up to Division-I basketball has been a wild ride for sure. What started with losing 80 pounds and working out four times a day during the summer, Bell has improved incredibly since the start of the season. Bell recorded his first double-double in D-I basketball with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Bell took over the game with Mitchell and scored 17 points in the second half.

Bell did struggle in the first half, but like the Xavier game, has came out of halftime and kept WVU competitive. Bell is averaging 6.6 points, 6.1 rebounds on 68 percent shooting.

Team Finally Faces Off Night Adversity

West Virginia faced adversity against Purdue and Portland State during the PK85 tournament when a few of the players dealt with the stomach bug. WVU did also play in hostile environments against Xavier and Pitt. But against Buffalo, the Mountaineers  had to deal with not beating themselves. West Virginia allowed Buffalo to get into the paint with ease and played sloppy at times. As usual, WVU’s offense took them over the top.

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