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#15 Virginia falls to #18 West Virginia, 68-61, for their first loss of the season

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Guy had a big second half, but late fouls and turnovers doom Hoos.

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

When Virginia and West Virginia get together, it never disappoints. The Mountaineers like to press tempo, the Hoos like to make you work for your points the hard way. After going 0-for-6 in the first half, Kyle Guy erupted for 18 second half points on 6-for-11 shooting and Devon Hall added 19 points to lead the Hoos. Mamadi Diakite had nine points as the Hoos shot 41% from the field and 9-for-23 from three.

Javon Carter led No. 18 West Virginia with 23 points, and Lamont West had 22 in the game as the Mountaineers hit some tough shots down the stretch to secure the victory. WVU shot 42% from the field, hit 10 of their 25 three pointers, and converted 89% from the line in the game.

Virginia fell behind 7-0 before Mamadi Diakite rattled of five straight points by way of two free throws, a bucket, and one. Hall hit a three to cut the lead to one point and then followed it up with physical take into the lane to give the Hoos their first lead with just under 12 to play in the first half. The lead was short lived, however, as West Virginia buried a three on the next possession.

The two squads traded the lead down the stretch, with WVU leading 29-26 at the half. Virginia went scoreless for 3:06 as WVU climbed to a 29-21 lead 1:29 to play. Hall buried a three and DeAndre Hunter hit two free throws to close the gap to the halftime score. West Virginia was led in the first half by Lamont West with 10 points, and Daxter Miles Jr. chipped in eight. The Mountaineers shot 38% from the field in the first half and committed five turnovers.

Hall led the Hoos with 11 first half points on 4-for-7 shooting and making both of Virginia’s first half threes (they shot an abysmal 18.2% beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes). Diakite had a fantastic first half with seven points (on a perfect 2-for-2 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free throw line), three rebounds, two blocks, a steal, and no turnovers.

At least one former Wahoo was excited for Hall’s first half performance.

The Hoos had seven first half turnovers, and shot just 28.6% from the field. They made only six field goals in the first half, and Kyle Guy was out of sorts with no buckets in six attempts.

Virginia opened the second half with a floater by Hall, but West Virginia jumped out to a 37-30 lead by the under-16 timeout. Another layup by Hall made it 37-32 before a jumper by West Virginia pushed the home team’s lead back to seven. Then, Kyle Guy came alive, hitting three straight three pointers to give the Hoos a 41-39 lead.

Carter responded with a three of his own, but Virginia battled to take a 45-44 lead with just under 10 minutes left. Just like clockwork, Carter hit another tough shot as the teams traded buckets in an exciting back and forth.

While this was a winnable game for Virginia, now 8-1 on the season, West Virginia hit big shots that were contested. The Hoos turned the ball over too many times (14) and missed too many first half shots to pick up the road win. In the long run, this should be a game that serves the Cavaliers well.