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West Virginia downs Morehead State, advances to second round

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The Mountaineers will take on Syracuse on Sunday

NCAA Basketball: Morehead State at West Virginia IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountaineers, and their fans, had to wait on this one. West Virginia found themselves slated for the last tip of the day from Lucas Oil Stadium. What was originally schedule as a 9:50pm tip-off would eventually become a 10:25 tip.

West Virginia started off slow until Miles McBride, Sean McNeil and Jalen Bridges hit back-to-back three pointers for a quick 9-0 run. WVU would extend it’s first half lead to 11 on a McNeil layup, forcing a Moorehead State timeout.

Moorehead State would then rattle off an 11-0 run of their own, pulling even with West Virginia at 17-17 with 10:13 to play in the first half.

The score would remain close for the rest of the first half until an Emmitt Matthews three out the Mountaineers up 6 and a pair of Derek Culver free throws extended the lead to 8.

At the half, West Virginia would lead 38-31.

The second half would really be ruled by West Virginia’s dynamic duo of McBride and Culver.

McBride picked up where he left off in the first half, finding a way to tally an extra 18 in stanza number two, finishing with a game-high 30 points on 11-17 shooting, including 3-4 from downtown. McBridge also added six rebounds, six assists and three steals and maybe most impressively had zero turnovers.

Culver was a no-show until he took over the game part way through the second half. At halftime Culver had 2 points and 2 rebounds. He finished strong with 10 points and five rebounds in the second half, all which seemed to come at key times or during key runs during the last ten minutes of the game.

West Virginia proved to be too much, the final score West Virginia 84, Moorehead State 76.

Bridges finished with 15 points and five rebounds, including a couple high-flying, momentum-building dunks.

Sean McNeil was the other Mountaineer in double figures with 13.

West Virginia’s next matchup is a familiar foe and a familiar zone. A Big East rivalry will be renewed as the Mountaineers face off against the Syracuse Orange on Sunday.