West Virginia squared off Saturday afternoon against former Bob Huggins assistant Jerod Calhoun and the Youngstown State Penguins. In what should have been an easy win on paper, the Mountaineers were able to overcome an awful first half to win in Youngstown, Ohio.
West Virginia shot just 30% from the field and was out-rebounded 19-16 in the first half of the contest. The Penguins went into the locker room with a 38-35 halftime lead. Derek Culver scored nine first half points to lead the Mountaineers.
Youngstown State led by as many as seven in the second half before a Jermaine Haley layup put the Mountaineers up 50-48 with 13:03 to go in the contest. Youngstown State would get as close as two but the Mountaineers asserted themselves on the glass late in the game to seal the victory.
Oscar Tshiebwe led the way for the Mountaineers with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Culver added 15 points and seven rebounds and seven assists. Jermaine Haley scored 11 points and Miles McBride and Taz Sherman each added 10.
West Virginia returns to action Suday, December 29, against sixth-ranked Ohio State in Cleveland.