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West Virginia Goes Small, Wins Big Against Austin Peay

Cody Nespor

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Coming off of their first loss of the season, the West Virginia Mountaineers looked a bit different against Austin Peay Thursday evening.

While WVU coach Bob Huggins often uses bigger lineups to try and outsize and outrebound opponents, Thursday’s game featured more lineups with only one big on the floor.

Starting forwards Derek Culver (23.6 minutes) and Oscar Tshiebwe (21.8) both came into the game averaging more than 20 minutes per game, but played only six and nine minutes in the first half, respectively. Smaller forward Gabe Osabuohien played 13 minutes in the first half.

Austin Peay (4-5) had struggled on the road all season and did so again against WVU (8-1) Thursday. The Governors shot 19-55 (34.5%) from the floor in the contest and 1-14 (7.1%) from three. West Virginia won the game 84-53.

Emmitt Matthews led the way for WVU, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Sean McNeil chipped in nine points and Jermaine Haley with eight.

Culver finished the game with 21 minutes, four points and five rebounds. Tshiebwe finished with 21 minutes, 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Austin Peay forward Terry Taylor entered the game averaging 22.5 points per game this season and led all scorers with 19 points on 9-17 (52.9%) shooting.

The 31-point win was the largest margin of victory for the Mountaineers so far this season. The team shot 34-67 (50.7%) from the floor, with six made three-pointers and 10-16 from the free throw line.

West Virginia will stay home to play Nicholls St. on Saturday. Tip-off for that game is at 2 p.m.

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Cody is currently a second-year graduate student at West Virginia University studying journalism. His graduate research focuses on the effects newspaper closures have on local communities. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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