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West Virginia fights back to advance to Cancun Challenge championship game

The Mountaineers will take on Wichita State on Wednesday night

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

If there’s one thing to take away from West Virginia’s 60-55 comeback win over Northern Iowa on Tuesday night, it’s that Bob Huggins’ squad doesn’t quit. Down 15 points with just 10 minutes left in the game, the Mountaineers — led by Jermaine Haley and Miles McBride — rallied back to hand the Panthers their first loss of the season.

West Virginia struggled to get anything going early, shooting just 7-of-28 from the field, but managed to close Northern Iowa’s lead to 23-20 in the closing minutes of the first half.

The Panthers continued building their lead through the opening half of the second period, until back-to-back jumpers from McBride and Haley and a followup three from Sean McNeil sparked West Virginia’s comeback run.

West Virginia regained the 51-50 lead with 2:41 remaining after a 7-0 run, but the Panthers quickly regained a two point advantage off of a Trae Berhow three pointer. The two teams traded blows through the closing minutes, but the Mountaineers would deal the final blow with a blocked layup from McBride that transitioned into a put back layup on the other end from Emmitt Matthews.

McBride led all scorers with 18 points, 5 assists off the bench. Haley added 10 points, 7 rebounds. Sean McNeil finished with 9 points and Matthews finished with 7.

The Mountaineers move on to the Riviera Championship Game, where they’ll face the Wichita State Shockers on Wednesday evening. That game will tip off at 8:30PM ET.