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Culver’s Double-Double Leads WVU Past VCU in the Crossover Classic Semifinals



(Photo by Richard Carlson/Inertia)

West Virginia will be playing in the Crossover Classic championship match on Friday after defeating VCU 78-66 in the semifinal round Thursday afternoon.

The Mountaineers (2-0) scored the first 13 points of the game, the first six all went to junior forward Derek Culver. VCU’s (1-1) first points came on a pair of free throws from Nah’Shon ‘Bones’ Hyland more than six and a half minutes into the game, making the score 13-2.

Despite building an early lead, WVU’s offense did not look good in the early going. At one point, the Mountaineers were 1-11 from the floor.

After WVU built its lead up to 24-10, VCU went on an 18-5 run, making it just a two-point, 29-27 game. The Mountaineers were able to end the half strongly, going into halftime up 42-33. Culver finished the first half leading all players with 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Rams opened the second half on a 7-1 run, cutting the lead down to 43-40. WVU responded with a 13-2 run, however, to build its lead right back up to 14 points. That run was powered by 11 totals points from guards Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil.

VCU would get it as close as nine points down the stretch but was unable to put together one final run big enough to threaten WVU’s lead.

Culver led all players with 23 points and 15 rebounds, his first double-double of the season. Fellow big man Oscar Tshibewe also finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 16 boards.

McNeil finished second on the team with 16 points on 5-15 shooting with four three-pointers. Starting point guard Miles ‘Deuce’ McBride scored 23 points against South Dakota State on Wednesday but finished with just 12 points against the Rams. Sherman finished with nine points on 4-7 shooting.

VCU was paced by Hyland who scored 13 points and had three steals.

WVU out-rebounded the Rams 49-34, but committed more turnovers, 21-15.

WVU will take on Western Kentucky in the championship match Friday at 1:30 p.m. EST from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Hilltoppers defeated Memphis in their semifinals game to advance to the championship.

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