WVU beats Virginia in Charlottesville
When the NCAA tournament selection committee scans West Virginia’s resume it will pause and define what happened when the Mountaineers tamed then-unbeaten Virginia in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers were ranked sixth in the nation and had just beaten Ohio State in their previous
And here comes West Virginia with its frenetic style and poor shooting statistics.
West Virginia wins the game, 66-57. Free throws are an important method the Mountaineers use. Excellent field goal shooting in the second half is another reason West Virginia deals the Cavaliers a rare loss on their home court.
The usually troubled Mountaineers make 16-of-19 free throws (84.2 percent). The often redoubtable Cavaliers make 7-of-13 free throws (53.8 percent).
The game isn’t a blizzard of turnovers, changes of possession or is it fast-paced and mistake-filled.
Eight turnovers don’t ruin West Virginia, but 14 turnovers by Virginia mean much in any analysis of why West Virginia won.
Going a telling 12-of-21 (57 percent) from the floor in the second half helps the Mountaineers overcome a one-point halftime deficit. In most of the games it loses, West Virginia does not make 45 percent of its field goal attempts (23-for-51) like it did in taming the home team before a crowd of over 14,000.
London Perrantes is Virginia’s point guard and guide. Easily the Cavaliers most experienced player, Perrantes went 2-for-12 from the floor and 1-for-7 on his three-point attempts. He had only six points to go along with seven assists ans three turnovers.
West Virginia had a 6-1 overall record after trimming the Cavaliers, who were 7-1 with the homecourt loss.
Beginning a five-game pre-conference schedule just after seeing Virginia, the Mountaineers played Western Carolina in Charleston on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Now come four games in which the Mountaineers will be overwhelming favorites in all of them. All four of them are in Morgantown.
Virginia Military Institute, Missouri-Kansas City, Radford and Northern Kentucky are all likely to become notches on West Virginia’s six-shooter.
Should form hold and Rudolph get Santa’s sleigh to Morgantown in good order, the Mountaineers will take an 11-1 record into the Big 12 portion of the schedule.
Like it has in recent Big 12 schedules, West Virginia has its first two conference games on the road. It opens league play at Oklahoma State on Dec. 30 and then faces Texas Tech in Lubbock on Jan. 3.
Unbeaten Texas Christian with first-year coach Jamie Dixon comes to Morgantown for the first conference game at the Coliseum in early January.
Virginia was beaten with mindful shooting and excellent free throw efficiency.
That victory will be meaningful in early March when the NCAA tournament selection committee is combing the records for “quality wins.”