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West Virginia Pulls Away Late Against Buffalo 96-78

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Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After a slow start, West Virginia pulled away in the late stages against Buffalo, winning 96-78.

West Virginia (9-2) ended the game on a 35-18 run in the final 11 minutes.

West Virginia’s offense against Buffalo (5-6) was all Erik Stevenson, Tre Mitchell and Jimmy Bell. Stevenson, who is WVU’s leading scorer through 11 games, recorded 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Stevenson also connected on 5-three’s.

Mitchell connected on a driving layup with 8 minutes left in the game to complete an 8-0 run by West Virginia. From then on, WVU controlled the remainder of the game.

Mitchell finished with 17 points and six rebounds. The Texas transfer shot 6-of-12 from the field.

The Bulls cut the deficit down to one point with 11 minutes left. WVU F Jimmy Bell scored eight points in 90 seconds to help extend the lead to 17 with four minutes left. Bell finished with a double-double, recording 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Buffalo was able to get into the paint fairly easy against West Virginia. The Bulls scored 38 points in the paint, which helped keep them in the game.

WVU starting forward Emmitt Matthews did not participate in Sunday’s game due to a left knee injury. Matthews suffered the injury during last weekend’s UAB game. The fifth-year senior’s status is day-to-day.

WVU’s underclassmen showed signs of production against Buffalo. Freshman Josiah Harris cut to the rim and dunked the ball in the first half to get the Mountaineer crowd loud. Sophomore guard Kobe Johnson made his third start of the season in for the injured Matthews. Johnson finished with seven points and four rebounds on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting.

Prior to the game, West Virginia basketball honored head coach Bob Huggins for his Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement. Huggins officially entered the Hall of Fame back in September.

West Virginia will look towards hosting their final game before Big 12 play on Thursday night when they welcome Stony Brook to the coliseum. WVU and Stony Brook will tip off at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.

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