MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Following struggles early-on, a good enough shooting performance in the second half helps West Virginia roll past Oakland 60-53.
West Virginia finished the game shooting 40 percent from the field, shooting 4-of-21 from three and 10-of-18 from the free-throw line.
In the first half, it was all of a struggle on both sides of the floor for West Virginia. The Mountaineers started 2-of-12 shooting from the field in the first seven minutes of play. At one point mid-way through the half, Oakland was out-rebounding WVU, 19-6.
All of the struggles diminished once Gabe Osabuohien checked into the game. Osabuohien was able to score four points, six rebounds in 11 minutes of play in the first half. The Canadian native finished with four charges drawn on Tuesday — if that was a stat that was kept track of.
The early foul trouble from Kedrian Johnson and Malik Curry caused Bob Huggins to put in both freshmen guards Seth Wilson and Kobe Johnson. Johnson was able to connect on a first-half basket.
West Virginia went into the locker room with a 27-23 lead.
To begin the second half, Taz Sherman and Jalen Bridges hit back-to-back jump shots to give WVU some breathing room. The Mountaineers shot 10-of-29 (34%) in the first half, while shooting 13-of-29 (44%) in the second half.
On the defensive side, transfer forward Dimon Carrigan made his presence known inside the paint, blocking three Oakland shots. Carrigan finished with six points and four rebounds.
WVU led by 17 points with 11 minutes in the second half but that didn’t stop the Golden Grizzlies from making an effort to stay in the game. Oakland cut their deficit down to single digits in the final minute, following a three by Blake Lampman.
West Virginia was able to escape at the end, defeating Oakland.
Sherman led the Mountaineers away with 18 points, on 7-of-18 shooting from the field. The fifth-year senior recorded five assists and four rebounds against the Golden Grizzlies.
Other notable scorers for West Virginia were Sean McNeil (11) and Jalen Bridges (7).
The Mountaineers will next welcome Pitt for the Backyard Brawl, inside the WVU Coliseum on Friday night. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
West Virginia basketball is back 🥳
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— Ethan Bock (@ethanbock_) November 9, 2021