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Mountaineers Win Cancun Challenge With Victory Over Shockers

Cody Nespor

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For the first time since 2017, the West Virginia Mountaineers won an in-season tournament Wednesday night by defeating the Wichita State Shockers.

In their second game in Cancun, Mexico, WVU (6-0) beat Wichita State (6-1) 74-63 in the Cancun Challenge championship game.

West Virginia led throughout the entire game and although the Shockers narrowed the lead to single-digits at times, the Mountaineers controlled the game from start to finish.

Forward Oscar Tshiebwe led the way with his third career double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 18 rebounds. The freshman’s 18 rebounds tied the Cancun Challenge record also held by NBA players Demarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson.

WVU dominated Wichita State on the glass, outrebounding the Shockers 48-31. this led to 30 second-chance points for the Mountaineers. Forward Derek Culver helped Tshiebwe on the glass with nine rebounds of his own to go along with eight points.

Wichita’s leading scorer was Erik Stevenson, who led all scorers with 22 points.

Freshman guard Miles McBride followed up a solid performance against Northern Iowa Tuesday with seven points, three rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Emmitt Matthews Jr. (13 points) and Sean McNeil (eight points) also contributed to the win.

The Mountaineers’ last in-season tournament win came during the 2017-18 season when they defeated Missouri in the AdvoCare Invitational championship. Then-senior Jevon Carter led the way with 29 points.

In the Cancun Challenge, West Virginia defeated Northern Colorado, Boston Univesity, Northern Iowa and finally Wichita State.

West Virginia returns home to the WVU Coliseum to take on Rhode Island on Dec. 1. Tip-off 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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