Derek Culver notched his first double-double of the season, scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds as No. 15 West Virginia defeated VCU 78-66 on Thursday afternoon in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic.
The Mountaineers will now face Western Kentucky in tomorrow’s championship game at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Sean McNeil scored 16 points for WVU (2-0). Miles “Deuce” McBride had 12 points and Oscar Tshiebwe 11.
Nah’Shon Hyland led the Rams (1-1) with 13 points and Vince Williams Jr. chipped in 11.
Culver’s game was on point all around as he went 8-of-14 from the floor and 7-for-9 from the free throw line.
“We’ve been trying to get Derek to slow down and when he slows down like he did today, you can see how effective he can be,” head coach Bob Huggins said.
The Mountaineers grabbed 23 offensive rebounds that escalated into 25 second-chance points.
WVU had a 52-35 edge on the boards over VCU.
The Mountaineers shot 41.3 percent from the floor, 37.5 percent from beyond the arc and 69 percent from the charity stripe. However, WVU turned the ball over 21 times.
“I thought we did a better job offensively, although we turned it over 21 times compared to three last night,” Huggins said. “We can’t turn it over 21 times and continue to win. We’ve got to take better care of the ball.”
The Rams shot 35.9 percent from the floor and 14.3 percent from 3. VCU failed to score from the floor until Hyland’s layup at the 10:52 mark of the first half.
Early in the second half, VCU’s defense continued to cause problems for the Mountaineers. The Rams cut the deficit to 43-40 in the first three and a half minutes.
But Taz Sherman and McNeil got the offense going.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Sherman and McNeil gave WVU a 54-42 lead over the Rams with 13:14 to play.
From there the Mountaineers cruised.
Cover Photo Credit: Richard Carlson/Inertia