Conway, SC – The Mountaineers started off the game getting a defensive stop and on the other end Chase Harler found Jermaine Haley for the alley-oop lay in. Harler came down the next drive and hit a three in transition. It only took a couple of trips up the floor for the Hawks of Saint Joe’s to find their offense as they started hot from the arc going 3-3 from deep.
There was an emphasis to get the ball to Sagaba Konate early and he dominated underneath picking up a quick 8 points before his first break. Freshman wing-man Emmitt Matthews got himself going early as well sinking a couple shots and grabbing two boards. The Hawks continued to find shots from deep from Charlie Brown Jr. and Lamarr Kimble, but West Virginia’s Lamont West followed that up with back to back threes.
The first half was back and forth as both teams combined for 17 three pointers. Lamont West was red hot hitting 5/6 three’s, leading the Mountaineers in scoring at the half with 17 points. West Virginia took a 51-49 lead into the break.
Senior Esa Ahmad got himself going early in the second half with nine points in the first eight minutes of the half. With about eight minutes to play in the game Hawks forward Charlie Brown Jr. fouled out of the game when Brandon Knapper pulled off his best Beetle Bolden impersonation by drawing a charge on a breakaway. Brown Jr. finished with 18 points and went 4-4 from three.
Ahmad made his presence on the defensive end when he blocked a shot from Jared Bynum that went soaring into the crowd about five rows deep. The Mountaineers were able to get some separation by hitting the three ball consistently, powered by a lights out performance from junior Lamont West who finished with a career high 27 points and 7 made three point field goals.