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West Virginia survives near upset by Eastern Kentucky

This squad definitely has some things that need worked out before conference play begins in about a month from now.

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Kentucky at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The West Virginia Mountaineers survived a Black Friday scare, fighting their way to a 80-77 win over the Atlantic Sun Conference’s Eastern Kentucky Colonels in the game’s final minutes. WVU trailed for more than 33 minutes of game time, and found themselves down by double digits to the Colonels multiple times throughout the evening.

West Virginia found themselves down 9-0 almost immediately, as EKU knocked down three straight three-pointers before the Mountaineers could get a shot to fall. The Colonels would continue taking it to Bob Huggins’ squad with their up-tempo offense, controlling an 11 point lead with 13:40 left in the first half.

WVU would attempt to claw their way back, despite shooting 8-of-16 from the free throw line, and eventually were able to mount a 10-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 36-35, with 2:17 left in the half.

The lead would only last for a few seconds, as EKU’s Michael Wardy scored four quick points to reclaim the lead for the Colonels. West Virginia went into halftime down 41-38.

EKU continued to have success on offense to start the second half, keeping the lead between four to six points throughout the first six minutes before the Mountaineers began chipping away at the lead at the free throw line.

Taz Sherman briefly reclaimed the lead for the Mountaineers at the charity stripe, after getting fouled on a three point attempt, but Eastern Kentucky would not go away. The Colonels went on a 7-0 run to take the lead back, 63-57, with ten minutes remaining in the game.

WVU continued to battle back, but it wasn’t until a jumper from Malik Curry to put the Mountaineers up by four points that the game felt firmly in West Virginia’s grasp.

Eastern Kentucky attempted to work from behind in the final minute, but the Mountaineers were able to hold them off and secure the victory.

Taz Sherman topped his career high that was set against Elon in the Charleston Classic, scoring 28 points. The only other Mountaineer to reach double digits was Malik Curry, who finished with 16 points. Gabe Osabuohien finished the night with six points, seven rebounds.

Coming Up Next

West Virginia is back in action on Tuesday, when they’ll take on the Bellermine Knights (1-5). That game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00PM ET and will once again be broadcast exclusively on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.