Last week the Mountaineer nation was left wondering about Oscar Tshiebwe’s debut. He saw limited playing time and received some criticism from Bob Huggins.
Now we know.
Tshiebwe used the Backyard Brawl as his coming out party, helping the Mountaineers tame the Panthers, 68-53.
Tshiebwe had 20 points and led the team with 17 rebounds. Emmitt Matthews had a strong second half, finishing with 17 points and seven rebounds.
The Mountaineers closed out a strong first half with a strong final possession, forcing Pitt to take a contested three point shot, leading 31-30 at the half and never relinquished the lead.
Outside of Oscar, the story of the night was the dismantling of the Pitt backcourt by the Mountaineer defense.
The Pitt backcourt of Ryan Murphy, Trey McGowans and Xavier Johnson came in averaging 42 points per game. West Virginia held them to 28 points and forced nine turnovers from Johnson (5) and McGowans (4).
The Panthers shot just under 30% from the floor for the contest.
West Virginia also had a 16 rebound advantage, out rebounding Pitt 46-30, including 17 offensive rebounds.
The Mountaineers return to action Monday as Northern Colorado visits the Colosseum.