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SMU Outlasts West Virginia 70-58 in Fort Myers Tip-Off Opening Round



WVU Basketball Jesse Edwards
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

West Virginia showed their lack of depth in the opening round of the Fort Myers Tip-Off event, as SMU outlasted the Mountaineers 70-58. WVU was up by 11 at halftime but was outscored in the second half by 23 points.

West Virginia (2-2)played their best half of the season in the first frame. The Mountaineers’ continued experiment with the 2-3 zone worked as the Mustangs scored just eight points in the final 13 minutes of the first half. At one point, West Virginia went on a 22-8 run to head into the half up 11 points. West Virginia ran everything through big man Jesse Edwards against SMU (4-1). Edwards’ teammates found him multiple times throughout the game to slam down alley-oops. The Netherlands native recorded 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

The second half was a completely opposite story. The Mountaineers’ lack of depth got to them as they became fatigued quickly. SMU figured out how to beat the zone defense and went on a 14-5 run to retake the lead. Butler transfer guard Chuck Harris scored seven straight points out of the break for SMU, getting the Mustangs offense going. SMU G Ricardo Wright connected on 4-threes in the second half to help close out the night for the Mustangs.

WVU F Quinn Slazinski was on fire out of the gates, scoring eight points in the first three minutes. Slazinski hit his first three shots. By the second half, Slazinski was exhausted and his shot misses showed it. The 6-foot-9 Iona transfer finished with 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting.

Junior guard Seth Wilson connected on a corner three in the middle of the first half to give West Virginia a four-point lead at the time. Wilson, a 6-foot-1 native of Ohio, surprisingly pulled down eight rebounds while helping lead the transition offense against the Mustangs. Wilson also had nine points on 2-of-8 shooting.

West Virginia will face No. 24 Virginia on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. from the Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Fla for third place. Fox Sports One will once again carry the broadcast.



  1. WVU vs Everyone

    November 20, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    The NCAA is getting what they wanted. They wanted to shorten the bench for WVU by refusing waivers and taking away playing time for others. WVU should sue the NCAA but they don’t have the spine to.
    Someone make a t-shirt with a middle finger with the NCAA at the bottom with Gold and Blue colors as soon as you can. Guarantee it will sell out in no time by the fans.

  2. Dave Dickey

    November 21, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Eilert should have recruited players that could start immediately. How does Noah Farraquan, Ali the Center, and Battle help us?? Answer: they don’t right now…Eilert should have recruited people that could play right now. We need help immediately. BTW, Jose Perez scored 20 against Duke…If Eilert worked with Perez, our record would be 4-0.

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