For the second season in a row, West Virginia picks up an early season tournament championship. The Mountaineers defeated San Diego State on Friday night 72-50 to claim the Las Vegas Invitational title.
This was WVU's third time playing in this tournament and their first time winning it.
Both teams started slow, with SDSU holding a 6-4 lead a little over five minutes in. Jaysean Paige once again provided a spark off the bench, scoring 8 straight points to give West Virginia a six point lead.
The Mountaineers held a seven point lead at 29-22 when Daxter Miles had this incredible putback dunk off of an Elijah Macon miss:
West Virginia took a 34-26 lead into the break, and Devin Williams went scoreless in the first half. This team has depth.
In the second half Williams played more like the beast we have seen all season. He scored 8 points in the first 6 minutes of action, and by the first TV timeout (11:41 to go) the Mountaineers had extended their lead to 16 at 50-34.
#PressVirginia was RELENTLESS in the second half, and the Aztecs had no answer for it. The Mountaineers suffocated SDSU and held them to only 13 made field goals (3 assisted) in the 22 point victory.
Daxter Miles led the Mountaineers with 14 points and 6 steals. Jonathan Holton and Jevon Carter each had 12, and Jaysean Paige scored 10 off the bench. Devin Williams was 1 rebound away from his sixth straight double-double, finishing with 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Jeremy Hemsley was the only player for San Diego State in double-figures, scoring 14.
West Virginia outrebounded SDSU 42-28. The Aztecs went 0-9 from three.
Playing against the Mountaineers style has to be tough to prepare for in a back-to-back situation. The Aztecs had trouble with the press all night long, committing 21 turnovers.
This win *should* put West Virginia into the AP top 25. They are currently 22nd in the USA Today poll.
The Mountaineers are off until next Saturday, December 5th, when they take on Kennesaw State in Morgantown. The game tips at 12:30 PM and will be televised on ROOT Sports.