Despite playing a physical game just two days ago, West Virginia men’s basketball exploded for its highest point total this season in an 87-71 win over No. 19 Richmond at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown on Sunday.
Miles McBride, the sophomore guard, poured in 20 points, most in the first half, to lead all scorers, but he was not alone in the offensive production.
Four other Mountaineers contributed double-digit points, including 15 from guard Taz Sherman off the bench. Derek Culver recorded his fourth double-double of the season and second in as many games.
The Mountaineers (6-1) shot 58.1 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from three. The worst shooting percentage was from the foul line, where the Mountaineers made 53.8 percent of their free throws. The Spiders (4-1), on the other hand, shot well below their season average, just 40.4 percent.
The game started with both teams trading buckets for the first seven minutes as Richmond’s fast-moving and cutting offense gave the Mountaineers trouble early. WVU’s defense adjusted before the 12-minute mark and spurred the offense the rest of the half.
Led by 16 first-half points from McBride, the Mountaineers orchestrated a 22-8 run to close out the half and take a 52-30 lead to the locker room.
Timeout Richmond | 1:13— WVU Men's Basketball (@WVUhoops) December 13, 2020
WVU is on a 16-1 run to take a 50-28 lead.
WVU thieved Richmond eight times in the first half and turned those into 15 points.
Press Virginia back?!?! Press Virginia back!!!!— Randy Gyorko (@GooseGyorko) December 13, 2020
Maybe a little bit of Press Virginia?
But most importantly, Big O dunked the ball.
WVU shot 65.7 percent from the field and drained six of nine three-point attempts. Richmond shot 43.3 percent, a bit below their average pace on the season (49 percent), but was 1-8 from behind the arc.
Yes @WVUhoops put on a defensive & offensive clinic vs @RichmondMBB in 1st half as they lead 52-30 ! Will say it again @CoachHuggs deserves Hall of Famer honors . Just compare his record with some that r in . Over 800 W’s makes him worthy .— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) December 13, 2020
Not skipping a beat on offense, the Mountaineers made their first four shots, including a steal and dunk by Culver. WVU increased its lead to 26 points at the under-16 break, 63-37.
Even though Richmond sputtered through mini runs throughout the second half, the Spiders never came closer than 16 points.
Freshman forward Taj Thweatt recorded his first-ever points in the Old Gold and Blue in the final minute of the game, the proverbial cherry on top.
With all that was good for WVU, one stat needs to be discussed: the Mountaineers nabbed just five offensive rebounds. Sure, when you shoot at such a high percentage, rebound attempts are few but Huggins may not be happy about leaving some second-chance points on the court.
Bob Huggins believes this is West Virginia's best roster since 2010.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 13, 2020
There's only one goal in Morgantown: to be one of four teams playing on April 3rd. https://t.co/2EmTgCr3Li
WVU now turns its attention to Big 12 play as Iowa State comes to Morgantown on Friday, Dec. 18.