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West Virginia in a good spot as 2021 recruiting nears a close

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Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

NCAA Football: Liberty Bowl-West Virginia vs Army Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Football

WVU football recruiting: Mountaineers in good shape during 'top group season' | Charleston Gazette-Mail
In the world of college football recruiting, we are getting deep into “top group season.” The good news for West Virginia? The Mountaineers have been a regular on many of their top targets’ “top groups” in recent days.

Dante Stills announces return to WVU football for senior season

One of West Virginia’s own is coming back for one last run in Morgantown. Defensive lineman Dante Stills confirmed on Twitter that he would come back for his senior season. The Fairmont native made 35 total tackles as a junior in 2020 and had a pair of sacks. During his career, Stills has racked up 75 tackles, 28.5 of which were for a loss, along with 12 sacks.

Tony Fields II receives invite to new-look NFL Combine

Tony Fields II is one step closer to the pros after receiving an invitation to the NFL Combine. Fields is one of two former Mountaineers to signal his intention to play pro ball, along with defensive tackle Darius Stills. After playing in nine games with West Virginia, he led the team with 88 tackles, while adding a sack and an interception.

Morgantown’s Caden Biser welcomes walk-on opportunity at WVU

Caden Biser received such a warm welcome to Morgantown that he has decided to take advantage of a chance to play at West Virginia. In December, Biser was offered a preferred walk-on opportunity from the Mountaineer coaching staff. Biser accepted that invitation Sunday and will compete for WVU this fall.

Here’s what WVU football’s seniors are doing with their extra year of eligibility

This unique year has afforded fall athletes across the country with a unique opportunity to stick around for one more year with an extra season of eligibility. Here is what seniors on the West Virginia football team are doing with their extra year of eligibility.

Sean Mahone will return to WVU in 2021, Ali Jennings departs

West Virginia safety Sean Mahone will remain in Morgantown for a sixth season of eligibility this fall. WVU wide receiver Ali Jennings has announced his intention to enter the transfer portal.

Men’s Basketball

Limited Spectators Planned for Jan. 30

West Virginia will finally welcome fans back to the WVU Coliseum for the first time this basketball season, when the Mountaineers play host to the Florida Gators on Saturday. Attendance will be capped at 1,000 spectators. Priority will be given to families and guests of the players and coaches, along with a limited number of WVU students and fans, but there will not be a public sale of tickets. Only eligible Mountaineer Athletic Club members at the Mountaineer Scholar level and higher will be contacted about ticket availability.

Huggins on WVU win: ‘Thought it was the biggest win of the year’

On Saturday, the #11 West Virginia men’s basketball team played its first game in two weeks, as the Mountaineers took down Kansas State 69-47. WVU head coach Bob Huggins said, “it was the biggest win of the year because we are coming off of a loss in a game we could have and should have won, then we get hit with the COVID-19 stuff and we had a time where we were down to basically four guys.”

AP poll roundup: WVU hoops moves to No. 11

The West Virginia men’s basketball team is on the rise once again the week in the AP Top 25. Following a 22-point win at Kansas State, which is the program’s largest margin of victory in a Big 12 road game, the Mountaineers have climbed to #11 in the latest ranking.

Women’s Basketball

WVU women’s basketball makes season debut in AP Top 25

The West Virginia women’s basketball team made its season debut in the Associated Press Top-25 Poll this week. The Mountaineers checked in at #24 in the latest AP Poll. #9 Baylor is the only other Big 12 team that is ranked this week.

WVU women’s hoops building impressive season

The #24 West Virginia women’s basketball team is currently on a six-game winning streak, which has placed the Mountaineers in third place in the Big 12 standings. The streak is a defining moment of a resilient and impressive team, one that plays every game with the motto “Physical for 40.”

Niblack Named Student-Athlete of the Week

After tallying a career-high 23 points in the Mountaineers’ 65-56, comeback win against Kansas State, junior forward Kari Niblack of the West Virginia women’s basketball team has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.

Carey on KSU win: ‘Our players showed a lot of heart once again’

The #24 West Virginia women’s basketball team earned a 65-56 home win against Kansas State on Wednesday night through an incredible 21-0 fourth quarter run to close the game.

Rifle

West Virginia rifle defeats Ohio State

The #4 West Virginia rifle team won its home opener on Saturday against Ohio State 4712-4661. The Mountaineers won both disciplines, winning the smallbore 2334-2308 and the air rifle 2378-2353.

No. 4 rifle Mountaineers travel to Ohio State

The West Virginia rifle team travels to Ohio State today to face a Buckeye team that the Mountaineers just defeated on Saturday. WVU is 48-0 all-time against Ohio State.

Mountaineers Sit at No. 4

The West Virginia rifle team is ranked #4 in this week’s College Rifle Coaches Association Poll. TCU sits at #1 this week, followed by Kentucky at #2 and Ole Miss at #3.

West Virginia Athletics

WVU wrestling overcomes late deficit

The West Virginia wrestling team came back from a 15-13 deficit to win 18-15 against Cleveland State. WVU’s Noah Adams, who is ranked #1 nationally in his weight class, extended his winning streak to 38-straight matches with an 8-2 decision over Ben Smith.

Beam and Floor Lineups Nationally Ranked

The balance beam and floor exercise lineups of the West Virginia gymnastics team enters the top 25 of the Road to Nationals Rankings. WVU is tied at #19 nationally on beam and ranks #22 overall on floor. The Mountaineers sit just outside the top 25 in this week’s team poll at #26.

Mountaineers’ Big 12 Slate Revealed

The Big 12 Conference has announced the 2021 conference baseball schedule. West Virginia’s 24-game, conference slate features home series against Kansas, Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas Tech.

2021 Spring Golf Schedule Revealed

The West Virginia golf team has announced the 2021 spring schedule. The Mountaineers will open the season on February 12th at the Gators Invitational in Gainesville, Florida.

WVU gymnastics drops match to No. 2 Oklahoma

The West Virginia gymnastics team dropped its first match of the season Friday night against #2 Oklahoma, 196.1-194.9. The Sooners came out on top of all four events.

Four WVU Alums Selected to Canadian National Team Camp

Four former members of the West Virginia women’s soccer team have been selected to participate at the Canadian Women’s National Team training camp. Defenders Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence, and Bianca St. Georges will join goalkeeper Rylee Foster at the two-week preparation camp.

Around the Big 12

Harmon’s 22 points sends Oklahoma past No. 9 Kansas 75-68

De’Vion Harmon scored 22 points and Oklahoma beat #9 Kansas 75-68 Saturday for its second victory this month over a top-10 opponent. The Sooners have won three of their last four games against the Jayhawks in Norman and are 8-1 at home this season.

Butler, Harkless Collect Men’s Basketball Weekly Awards

Baylor’s Jared Butler earned his fourth career Big 12 Conference weekly award with his third Player of the Week honor, while Oklahoma’s Elijah Harkless was recognized with his first Newcomer of the Week selection.

Big 12 Snapshot: (Mostly) back on the court

As we head to the final week of January, let’s check out the latest Big 12 Snapshot.

Around the NCAA

Hauser, Huff lead No. 8 Virginia past Syracuse, 81-58

Sam Hauser hit seven of Virginia’s 14 three-pointers and the #8 Cavaliers cruised to an 81-58 victory against Syracuse on Monday night. Hauser hit five threes before halftime and finished with 21 points.

Super Bowl predictions, picks, odds, preview and big questions for Chiefs-Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will become the first team to compete for a Super Bowl title in its home stadium, after the Bucs earned a 31-26 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. Tampa will face the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, who came away with a 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game.


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