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Mountaineers Fend Off Pesky Jackrabbits

McBride leads the way with 21

STAFF REPORTS

SIOUX FALLS, SD — It may have been closer than West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins was hoping but a win is a win.

The Mountaineers opened the season with a 79-71 victory over South Dakota State on Wednesday night in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic.

WVU led 37-32 at halftime and had to fend off the pesky Jackrabbits in the second half.

West Virginia shot 39 percent from the field (30-for-77), 25 percent from 3 (8-for-22) and 75 percent from the foul line (9-for-12).

Huggins’ squad was led to victory by sophomore guard Miles McBride who accounted for a team-high 21 points on 9 of 19 shooting, however, he only hit 1 of 6 from 3-point land.

Junior guard Sean McNeil was also impressive with 16 points, while junior forward Derek Culver turned in a team-leading 14 rebounds — 11 coming on the defensive end where he also charted four blocks.

The Mountaineers got a big hand from senior guard Taz Sherman off the bench as he bucketed 14 points.

Big man, sophomore forward Oscar Tshiebwe, struggled with foul trouble as he finished with seven points and four fouls.

Four of the Jackrabbits’ starters finished in double figures as Douglas Wilson paved the way with 17 points, followed by Noah Freidel’s 16 points and Baylor Scheierman’s 13 and Matt Dentlinger’s 10.

With the win, West Virginia advances to the next round of the tournament to take on the winner of Utah State and VCU, who played late last night.

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