The Mountaineers advanced to the championship game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational with a 67-59 win over the Richmond Spiders on Thanksgiving day.
The first half was a foul fest, with Richmond getting into the double-bonus only 12 minutes in. West Virginia started the game on a 7-0 run and then pushed it to an 18-6 run before the Spiders settled down and battled back. A Trey Davis three at the buzzer cut the Mountaineer lead to 35-31 at the break.
West Virginia's lead fluctuated between 2 and 8 for most of the second half. With the lead at 5 at 52-47 with 7:30 to go, Devin Williams picked up a technical foul after looking for an and-one (rightfully so, it should have been a foul.) There were several missed calls in the second half.
With 2:47 to go, two ShawnDre' Jones free throws cut the lead to 56-54, but a Jaysean Paige three on the next possession pushed it back to 5 at 59-54. West Virginia was then able to ice the game at the free throw line.
Devin Williams was a force in this game, leading the Mountaineers with 23 points on 9-11 shooting and 12 rebounds. Five games, five double-doubles.
Jevon Carter was the only other player for West Virginia to reach double figures, scoring 13.
Terry Allen led the Spiders with 20 points.
The two teams combined for 67 free throws, with Richmond going 21-35 (60%) and West Virginia going 23-32 (71.9%). The Spiders outrebounded WVU 36-31.
On Friday, West Virginia will face the winner of the Cal/SDSU game later on tonight for the championship. The game will tip at 10:30 PM and will again be televised by FS1.