After going scoreless in the first half, West Virginia guard Sean McNeil led a Mountaineer comeback over the Clemson Tigers (4-2) to capture third place in the Shriner’s Children’s Charleston Classic with a 66-59 win. WVU moves to 4-1 on the season.
Clemson jumped out to a quick lead over the Mountaineers, as Nick Honor and Al-Amir Dawes combined for a 10-2 run. Dawes would continue making shots, scoring 12 points in the first five minutes of the game, as West Virginia struggled defensively.
Things finally began to click for the Mountaineers, as Game Osabuohien was able create the spark WVU needed to go on an 8-0 run of their own to reclaim the lead from Clemson, 20-19, midway through the half.
The two teams traded the lead six times through the remainder of the first half, but it was West Virginia who controlled a 35-34 advantage heading into halftime.
The second half picked up where the first half ended, with the two teams trading shots and the lead before Clemson mounted a 11-0 run to take a 10 point lead with 14:00 remaining. WVU would attempt to chip away at the Tigers’ lead, but Clemson continually knocked down shots on the other end to extend the lead back in their favor.
Mountaineer coach Bob Huggins gave his squad a talking to that only Bob Huggins can give, slamming his clipboard down during a timeout. The Mountaineers responded accordingly, as McNeil knocked down a couple jumpers in the midst of a 10-0 run to reclaim a 60-56 lead with 2:03 remaining.
Clemson would go on to get whistled for a technical foul for having six players on the court coming out of a timeout, allowing McNeil to seal the deal for the Mountaineers at the charity stripe.
Sean McNeil led the Mountaineers with 15 points, all of which came in the final 10 minutes of the game. Taz Sherman finished with 12 points, and Jalen Bridges chipped in 8 points, 5 rebounds. Gabe Osabuohien only scored 4 poitns, but led West Virginia with 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Malik Curry contributed 9 points off the bench, and Kedrian Johnson added 6 points of his own. Isaiah Cottrell finished with 7 points.
Bob Huggins moved into sole possession of fourth place in all-time wins, passing former North Carolina head coach and Hall of Famer Roy Williams.
COMING UP NEXT
West Virginia is back in action on Friday, when they’ll take on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in Morgantown. That game is scheduled for a 7:00PM tip and will be broadcast exclusively on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.