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West Virginia rides career highs from Esa Ahmad and Sagaba Konate to 88-76 win over Valparaiso

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When in doubt, get the ball to your best players.

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

Press Virginia is dead. For now.

Sagaba Konate turned in a career high double-double and Esa Ahmad finished with a career high of his own as the West Virginia Mountaineers (3-2) overcame a sluggish first half to down the Valparaiso Crusaders (3-3), 88-76 in Morgantown this afternoon.

It’s the second straight game in which the Mountaineers seemingly ditched the press for a zone defense and just elected to run the “get the ball to Lamont West, Konate and Ahmad offense.” Turns out, it works.

Ahmad led all scorers with 30 points and 4 rebounds, topping his previous career high of 27 which came against Kansas in 2017. Konate finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, surpassing his previous career high point total of 20 points, which came against Long Beach State in 2017.

Lamont West added 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 6 rebounds. Brandon Knapper, who got the start in place of an injured James Bolden, finished with just two points but had a team-leading 7 assists.

West Virginia returns to action on Wednesday when they take on the Rider Broncs in the WVU Coliseum. That game is scheduled to tip off at 6:30PM ET and will be broadcast on AT&T Sportsnet Pittsburgh.