In a game that featured 15 lead changes and five ties, No. 25 West Virginia emerged victorious with a huge 66-57 win over the previously undefeated No. 6 Cavaliers. Darius Thompson led the Hoos with 14 points, and Isaiah Wilkins had eight rebounds. The nine point loss was Virginia’s biggest loss since losing to Tennessee December 30, 2013. Virginia’s 24 game home win streak was broken with the loss.
On Wednesday night against Ohio State, Virginia (7-1) struggled out the gate against the athletic Buckeyes. Actually, struggled is too kind of a word. Virginia shot under 25%, had seven turnovers, and a 12-point deficit in the first half on Wednesday. Today against No. 25 West Virginia, the Hoos started out hot and eventually jumped to a 16-6 lead before the Mountaineers climbed back in before the half.
Darius Thompson put Virginia on the board first with a three pointer, giving the Hoos a lead they didn’t relinquish until there were under 30 seconds left in the half. Virginia held a slim 25-24 lead at halftime thanks to a layup by Jack Salt with three seconds left on the clock. The Hoos shot 42.9% from the field (33.3% from three), turned the ball over eight times, and assisted 6-of-9 made baskets in the first half. In that same span, West Virginia had five steals, six second chance points, and shot 36.7% from the field (1-for-8 from three).
West Virginia’s Daxter Miles Jr. was ejected at the 2:42 mark of the first half for a Flagrant Two foul as he threw an elbow at Isaiah Wilkins. Miles Jr. was the Mountaineers leading scorer in the first half with seven points.
The second half was back and forth for the entire 20 minutes. Kyle Guy came alive with seven points on 3-for-4 shooting, and Ty Jerome got some meaningful minutes down the stretch with the game on the line. West Virginia took a page out of Virginia’s book with very balanced scoring, led by Jevon Carter with 11 points.
With the score tied at 55, Esa Ahmad - who finished with nine points - hit a huge three pointer to give the Mountaineers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. West Virginia shot 45.1% for the game, and 84.2% from the free throw line, icing the game away down the stretch. Virginia struggled from the line, shooting just 7-for-13 from the charity stripe.
Next up, Virginia hosts ECU at 7pm on Tuesday.