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Dominant Second Half Helps WVU Put Missouri Away in Big 12/SEC Challenge



MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – For just the second time, the West Virginia Mountaineers were victorious in the Big 12/SEC Challenge Saturday afternoon.

No. 14 West Virginia (16-3, 4-2 Big 12) won 74-51 over the Missouri Tigers (9-10, 1-5 SEC) who have now lost six of their last seven games. It was WVU’s first win in the Challenge since defeating Texas A&M in the 2016-17 season.

The Mountaineers were dominant to start Saturday’s game, jumping out to a 20-6 lead in the first half. The lead was fueled by a 12-2 run WVU went on over a six-minute period. The Tigers made just one of their first 15 shots from the floor.

For the rest of the first half, however, Missouri took control. The Tigers responded with a 10-0 run and closed the half out-scoring the Mountaineers 14-2 over the final eight minutes. WVU made a single field goal from 8:11 onward in the first half.

The Tigers’ bench was the key in the first half, scoring 15 points compared to the WVU bench’s six.

West Virginia returned to its dominant ways for the entire second half, however, outscoring the Tigers 50-28.

Missouri shot only 15-53 (28.3%) from the floor throughout the game, going only 7-26 (26.9%) from three. The Mountaineers shot 10-31 (32.3%) in the first half but turned around to shoot 17-34 (50%) in the second.

WVU’s leading scorers were Oscar Tshiebwe (14 points), Jermaine Haley (15) and Miles McBride (15). West Virginia out-rebounded Missouri 50-30, lead by Tshiebwe (eight rebounds), Derek Culver (11) and Gabe Osabuohien (12).

West Virginia’s next game will be on the road against Texas Tech on Jan. 29. Tip-off from the United Supermarkets Area is set for 7 p.m.

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