Best Virginia faced the four-time defending champion Overseas Elite team in the second round of the Richmond Regional Saturday evening. The Mountaineer alumni squad had to go against the No. 1 seed without their starting point guard Juwan Staten after hurting his wrist on an open floor layup, where he was fouled from behind and landed awkwardly in the opening round.
The Mountaineers missed his offense as they shot 31% from the floor and 21.3% from behind the arc in an 80-68 loss in the second round of The Basketball Tournament (TBT).
Da’sean Butler started the game with his patented turnaround jumper, but the Overseas Elite team responded with a 9-0 before Truck Bryant ended the run with a jump shot from the foul line that ignited a 7-0 run to get within two.
Best Virginia tied the game at 17 on a Jaysean Paige alley-oop that ignited the Mountaineer faithful inside the Siegal Center. However, a 5-0 run to end the first quarter by Overseas Elite gave them a 22-17 advantage.
Overseas started the second period with a layup off a turnover to go up 24-17. Best Virginia began to dwindle the seven-point advantage and a Teyvon Myers three in transition from the elbow gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the game.
The defending champs closed the half on a 13-1 run to take a 10-point advantage into halftime.
Best Virginia came out of the half in a 1-3-1 zone, forced five turnovers and put together a 12-2 run to tie the game at 46 with 5:54 left in the third period.
Overseas Elite responded with a 17-5 run to go up 12 and held an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Mountaineers couldn’t get any closer than eight before the Elam score was set at 80 while trailing 72-63.
Best Virginia pressed applied pressure but, in the end, the Overseas offense was too much for the Mountaineers as the fell to the defending champs.
This was a tough draw for these Mountaineers but what general manager and forward John Flowers brought to Mountaineer fans was something special. Watching a team full of WVU head coach Bob Huggins players together again to compete on the hardwood and represent the state of West Virginia is truly something special.
There have been lists compiled on on social media platforms of “all-time Mountaineers” and even more specifically, players during the Huggins era. Even know there’s been several debates of the all-time greats under Huggins, this roster was chalked full of Mountaineer legends still playing professional ball around the world and to see these guys compete together was fun.
The support they received in Richmond showed how much these men meant to a fan base during their time in Morgantown and hopefully, this is just the beginning of an annual get together of Mountaineer basketball fans to cheer on those young lads that once dawned the old gold and blue.