Miles McBride scored 18 of his 30 factors after halftime to assist West Virginia draw back and beat Morehead State 84-67 within the first spherical of the NCAA Match
INDIANAPOLIS — Miles McBride knocked down pictures from the beginning whereas West Virginia managed to transform turnovers into baskets in a defensive effort that glad coach Bob Huggins. It was sufficient to assist the Mountaineers advance within the NCAA Match whereas giving Huggins a milestone victory.
McBride scored 18 of his 30 factors after halftime to assist West Virginia draw back and beat Morehead State 84-67 within the first spherical Friday night time, securing Huggins’ 900th profession win.
McBride was terrific in his first match recreation for the third-seeded Mountaineers (19-9) within the Midwest Area matchup. The 6-foot-2 sophomore made his first 5 pictures and completed 11 for 17 from the ground with six rebounds and 6 assists, sending West Virginia on to face No. 11 seed Syracuse.
That included one six-point sequence when he hit a layup whereas drawing a flagrant foul, then hitting 4 straight free throws halfway by way of the second half.
“It is nice to place numbers up on the board, however on the finish of the day, I am nearly profitable — getting a W within the column,” McBride mentioned.
The Mountaineers wanted his massive night time, too, with No. 2 scorer Derek Culver struggling offensively till deep into the sport. Culver did not handle a first-half area purpose earlier than settling down to attain 10 second-half factors, which helped spark West Virginia’s pull-away transfer.
The recent-shooting Eagles (23-8) had far much less bother placing the ball within the internet than they did defending it.
Morehead State shot 52% and made 10 of 19 3-pointers. However the Ohio Valley Convention champions got here in averaging a 22.9% turnover charge to rank close to the underside of KenPom’s nationwide stats, then dedicated 18 on Friday night time that led to 24 factors.
“I believed it was most likely in addition to we have performed in stress protection,” Huggins mentioned.
DeVon Cooper scored 21 factors to steer the 14th-seeded Eagles, who had been making their first match look in a decade.
“We knew we wanted to maintain the ball in an effort to keep within the recreation with them, and we simply type of failed to try this with their stress as the sport went on,” Morehead State coach Preston Spradlin mentioned, including: “We stayed collectively and stayed within the recreation so long as we might there.”
Morehead State: The Eagles had received 19 of 20 since shortly earlier than Christmas to make it again to the match. However they could not repeat their 2011 first-round upset of Louisville regardless of a powerful capturing night time.
West Virginia: All 9 of the Mountaineers’ losses have come in opposition to groups that made the NCAA area of 68, however they arrived in Indianapolis having misplaced three of 4. They led by 11 early solely to see Morehead State get inside one early within the second half, however an 11-0 second-half burst ensured they would not relinquish that lead.
FEELING THE VIBE
The double-court setup in Lucas Oil Stadium supplied an attention-grabbing pregame setup for the late tipoff.
The house to the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts is split by a big black curtain. As North Texas closed an time beyond regulation upset of Purdue on one aspect, West Virginia gamers stood on the courtroom on the dimly lit different aspect watching the sport on videoboards and listening to crowd noise from restricted fan attendance.
Finally, the lighting kicked on to applause from followers and the 30-minute countdown to tipoff started.
“Simply with the ability to be on the opposite aspect (of the curtain) and watching that recreation, you actually really feel the power, guys get somewhat jittery and are available out with much more power,” McBride mentioned.
West Virginia gamers started hugging Huggins afterward to rejoice the milestone win in an embrace that grew greater and larger till it was a gaggle leaping round on the courtroom. It got here after two failed makes an attempt to get the 900th victory because the Mountaineers misplaced back-to-back video games to Oklahoma State.
That prompted Huggins to quip: “Took them lengthy sufficient, although.”
“That was their matter of dialog,” he mentioned. “It wasn’t mine, it was theirs, which type of tells you what sort of guys we’ve. We now have good guys.”
The Mountaineers face coach Jim Boeheim and Syracuse on Sunday.
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