The West Virginia Mountaineers served the Pitt Panthers a nice dish of a Pittsburgh delicacy with their 69-60 win in the 185th edition of The Backyard Brawl this evening in the Petersen Events Center.
West Virginia jumped on the Panthers right out of the gate with a pair of Lamont West threes. The Mountaineers built to a 13-5 lead four minutes into the game and the West Virginia fans in attendance took over The Pete with the most beautiful chant in the world.
The Panthers attempted to chip away at the Mountaineer lead, after a flagrant foul was called on Daxter Miles Jr. for accidental contact with Parker Stewart, as Jared Wilson-Frame scored Pitt’s first field goal of the game with 12:08 left in the first half to bring the Panthers to within five points. With a couple Mountaineers in early foul trouble, Bob Huggins was forced to switch to the 1-3-1, and the Panthers showed they still haven’t figured out how to decipher it.
Jevon Carter caught a hot hand late in the half and sunk back-to-back threes to increase West Virginia’s lead to 32-18. Pitt coach Kevin Stallings was nailed with a technical foul after protesting a call by the officials, and a loud “Let’s Go Mountaineers” chant overtook the Petersen Events Center.
West Virginia would take a 45-27 lead into the locker room, with Carter leading the way with 17 points, four assists and three rebounds at the half. On Pittsburgh’s side of things, no Panthers player made more than one field goal in the first half and no one attempted more than five shots.
Pittsburgh came out of the half slightly more aggressive and began to, once again, chip away at West Virginia’s lead.
With just under 14:00 left in the game, West Virginia’s foul troubles grew a little worse when Jevon Carter was whistled for his fourth foul for putting his shoulder into a Pitt player. Fouls would become the overarching from this point, as Daxter Miles soon followed with his fourth foul of the game, and the Panthers closed the Mountaineers’ lead to three points with just over 9:00 remaining.
The Mountaineers would fall back into the 1-3-1 zone defense to finish out the game and successfully hold off Pitt’s comeback attempt.
Jevon Carter finished the night with a team high 19 points and 9 assists. Miles and West added 15 and 13 respectively, and Beetle Bolden contributed 10 points from the bench.
The Mountaineers will kick off a three game home-stand when they play Wheeling Jesuit in an exhibition game next Saturday. They’ll follow that with games against Coppin State Eagles and Fordham Rams the following week, before they travel to Stillwater to begin Big 12 Conference play against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on December 29th.
West Virginia will face the Panthers in Morgantown next season in the second of four scheduled games through 2020.