West Virginia 84 Marist 78
|Field Goal %||35.1||55.3|
|Three Point %||21.1||47.6|
|Free Throw %||82.8||64.0|
|D. Miles Jr.||4-13||0-5||4-5||4||3||7||7||0||0||4||3||12|
West Virginia avoids a near upset and moves on to the second round of the Advocare Invitational by beating the Marist Red Foxes, despite a poor shooting performance.
In the first ten minutes of the game, the Mountaineers where 7-13 from the field, 1-8 from three-point range and 5-6 from the free throw line, leading Marist 23-17. It was evident early that they were confident from behind the arc, but the shots were not falling.
West Virginia could not get into any rhythm with their three ball and in the final ten minutes of the first half, they could not buy a bucket, shooting 23.1% from the field (6-26) and 16.7% (2-12) from three-point range.
Regardless of the poor shooting, West Virginia was leading at halftime 39-26. Marist didn’t shoot well in the first half either, but what the Mountaineers did what they do best, and they were causing turnovers and rebounding.
The Mountaineers had 11 steals and forced 16 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play. They also had 10 offensive rebounds, resulting in 12 second chance points. West Virginia was showing their physicality in the paint, early in the game.
The second half, Marist would get hot from behind the arc, making five of their first 6 threes and David Knudsen led the way going 4-5, tying the game up at 67 with 5:36 left to play in the game.
Jevon Carter would break the tie on the ensuing possession with a three pointer of his own and Chase Harler would find his shot hitting back to back threes, keeping Marist from tying the game back up.
The Mountaineers won this game with offensive rebounding (22), forcing turnovers (24) and making their free throws (24-29).
The free throws stick out because that has been a bugaboo for West Virginia over the years and lost a handful of games last year due to poor free throw shooting.
The offensive rebounding was big in this game, especially shooting so poorly. The rebounds led to 28 second chance points.
Taking care of the ball and forcing turnovers is something West Virginia has prided themselves on over the years and along with the offensive rebounding they were able to put up 27 more shots than Marist this game and that was the difference.
Cleaning up the poor shooting is what it is going to take to win games like this and it all starts with Sagaba Konate.
Sags is starting to assert himself in the paint. His progression in the past year helped propel this Mountaineer team to a win tonight, finishing the game with a double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds).
In a wild week in college basketball and Marist getting hot in the second half, West Virginia found a way to win and advance.
The Mountaineers will face Central Florida on Friday at 5:00est on ESPN2.