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No. 24 Virginia Wins Low-Paced Contest Over WVU, 56-54



WVU Basketball Kobe Johnson

No. 24 Virginia defeated West Virginia in a low-paced contest 56-54 in the Fort Myers Tip-Off third-place game.

UVA guard Reece Beekman headed to the free-throw line to take the lead with 2.3 seconds left. Beekman missed the second free-throw, but Virginia closed the game out with an offensive rebound.

Heading into the game, both West Virginia (2-3) and Virginia (5-1) were in the bottom 20 in adjusted tempo in the country. The combined score five minutes into the game was four points. By halftime, only Jesse Edwards, Quinn Slazinski and Patrick Suemnick were on the score board.

Edwards finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Slazinski had 17 points and five rebounds.

With 8:41 left in the game, WVU G Kobe Johnson knocked down West Virginia’s third-straight three to give the Mountaineers the lead. Seth Wilson hit back-to-back threes before Johnson’s. At this time, Edwards and Slazinski were off the floor and the other players gave WVU a spark.

West Virginia ended the game with 16 turnovers. Virginia scored 18 points off of those turnovers.

WVU, with seven players available, dealt with foul trouble issues for the first time this season as Edwards (4), Slazinski (3) and Suemnick (3) were in foul trouble. Slazinski was issued a technical foul with UVA’s Jacob Groves in the late stages of the second half.

West Virginia was once again without guard RaeQuan Battle (ineligible) and forward Akok Akok (health) on Wednesday. Battle’s waiver appeal was denied by the NCAA on Tuesday and for now is ineligible to play this season. Akok has been off the floor with a medical condition after collapsing in the second half against George Mason. WVU G Kerr Kriisa has now served five games of his nine-game suspension.

WVU finishes fourth in the Fort Myers Tip-Off during the week. The Mountaineers lost to SMU in the opening round 70-58.

West Virginia will take a few days off during the Thanksgiving weekend before hosting Bellarmine on Sunday at 5 p.m.

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