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Sherman, Osabuohien lead West Virginia past Oakland in season opener

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The Mountaineers overcame a sluggish start to deliver win No. 901 to Bob Huggins

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

Taz Sherman scored 18 points to lead West Virginia over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in the Mountaineers’ 2021-22 season opener.

West Virginia struggled to get anything going in the opening minutes of the game, falling behind by six points just before the first media timeout. but the Mountaineers persevered to work themselves out of the shooting slump. Sherman hit a three-pointer off of an Oakland turnover with 5:32 remaining to give West Virginia their first lead since the opening minute of the game.

The Mountaineers took a 27-23 lead into the locker room at the half, and most assuredly were on the receiving end of a halftime speech that only a future Hall of Famer with 900 wins can deliver.

WVU continued pouring it on to open the second half, growing their lead to 17 points with a score of 50-33 and 11:01 left in the game. However, the Golden Grizzlies refused to go away.

Oakland slowly erased West Virginia’s double-digit lead to as little as six points with nearly six and a half minutes remaining, but the effort would come up short as the Mountaineers closed out the 60-53 win at the free throw line.

Sherman led the Mountaineers with 18 points, 5 assists. Sean McNeil finished with 11 points, while Jalen Bridges ended the night with 7 points. Gabe Osabuohien finished with 6 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and 5 taken charges, firmly cementing him as one of the all-time “Bob Huggins’ dudes.”

West Virginia returns to action on Friday, when they take on the Pittsburgh Panthers (0-1, loss to The Citadel), in this year’s edition of The Backyard Brawl. That game tips off at 8:30PM ET and will be broadcast on ESPNU.