MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU’s Tre Mitchell and Erik Stevenson both played very efficient against Navy, helping lead the Mountaineers to an 85-64 victory.
Mitchell had a team-high of 19 points on 8-fo-12 shooting and 3-of-4 shooting from three. The Pittsburgh native also had six rebounds and three assists. Stevenson finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Stevenson shot 5-of-9 with 3-three’s.
WVU G Joe Toussaint also had an efficient game, finishing with 11 points, seven assists and two steals.
At one point, West Virginia led 36-18 in the first half. Navy guards Austin Benigni and Sean Yoder got the Midshipmen back into the game. Benigni drove into the paint with 14 minutes left in the game to convert on an and-one opportunity. Only up six, WVU’s offense woke up and hit 3-three’s from Kedrian Johnson, Toussaint and Tre Mitchell.
WVU’s offense this season has stayed consistent at starting off hot. The Mountaineers scored 25 points in the first nine minutes of the game, highlighted by Mitchell and Stevenson. Navy shifted into a two-three defense but didn’t slow down West Virginia for long.
In the first eight games, West Virginia’s rebounding has been lackluster at times. The Mountaineers entered the Navy game No. 272 in rebounding, averaging 34 per game. Against Navy, the Mountaineers pulled down 37 rebounds and out-rebounded the Midshipmen 11-6 on offensive boards.
Freshman F Josiah Harris took advantage of the quality minutes given to him. Harris, who has started in eight of the first nine games, played in 11 minutes against Navy. The Canton, Ohio native finished with seven points on 2-of-3 shooting.
West Virginia bounces back from their terrible second half performance against Xavier , which they wish they had back. The Mountaineers played terrific in the first half, but let the foot off the gas in the second, falling 84-74. Luckily for WVU, the loss really didn’t hurt them statically. West Virginia was ranked No. 11 in the initial NET rankings that came out on Monday and still received vote points in the latest AP poll.
Wednesday’s matchup was Military Appreciation Day at the WVU Coliseum. Wednesday was also the 81st anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The military was honored multiple times during the game.
West Virginia will move on to host UAB on Saturday. The game against the Blazers will be the final quality game for the Mountaineers during the traditional non-conference period. WVU and UAB will tip-off at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.