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West Virginia vs Monmouth Preview: Mountaineers look to shake off season-opening loss tonight in Myrtle Beach Invitational opener

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West Virginia travels to South Carolina to kick off the inaugural Myrtle Beach Invitational and hopefully put an overtime loss to Buffalo behind them.

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

WHEN/WHERE

Date: Thursday, November 15th

Tip-Off Time: 7:00PM ET

Where: The HTC Center, Conway, South Carolina

WATCH/LISTEN

TV: ESPNU

Streaming Video: Fans can watch the game on WatchESPN.com with an active cable subscription

Radio: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (Radio Affiliates); Sirius 98; XM 199

Streaming Audio: Locate the Mountaineers Sports Network from IMG on TuneIn Radio (or the TuneIn app for smartphones)

ODDS

Spread: West Virginia -19.5
Total: 145.5 Points

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? West Long Branch, New Jersey

Series History: West Virginia leads the all-time series 1-0

Last Time: The last meeting took place on November 14, 2014 in Morgantown, with the West Virginia Mountaineers beating the Monmouth Hawks, 64-54.

SB Nation Blog: Underdog Dynasty

Record: 0-3

Record in 2017-18: 11-20 (7-11 MAAC)

Head Coach: King Rice (8th Season)

NCAA Basketball: Monmouth-NJ at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Take care of the ball. If there’s one thing Monmouth is good at so far this season, it’s stealing the ball. The Hawks are averaging seven steals per game through their first three outings. Mountaineers turned the ball over 19 times against Buffalo, eight of which were from steals. We can’t stand around and let them pick our pockets.
  • Crash the boards. The other stat that stuck out as a potential game changer in the loss to Buffalo was that West Virginia was out-rebounded, 50 to 46, by the Bulls. Buffalo owned the offensive rebounds, allowing them second chance opportunities. The Mountaineers need to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

HOW AFRAID SHOULD WE BE (ON A SCALE OF 1-10)?

Three. This one should be a layup to get the Mountaineers in the win column. With that said, West Virginia has to get something going in the back court and it can’t all be on Beetle Bolden. Brandon Knapper, Jordan McCabe and Jermaine Haley all saw action against the Bulls last Friday, but looked mostly lost on offense. Those guys are going to have to step up, because if the Mountaineers can’t get their guards figured soon out we may be in for a long season.

PREDICTION THAT WILL BE WRONG

Brandon Knapper gives the Mountaineer backcourt a boost off the bench, and West Virginia builds a double digit lead in the second half. The Mountaineers move on and will take on the winner of Valparasio and Western Kentucky Friday night at 9:00PM for a spot in the Myrlte Beach Invitational championship game.

West Virginia 81, Monmouth 69