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Game Three: Northern Colorado @ West Virginia Preview

The 2-0 West Virginia Mountaineers return home tonight to take on the Northern Colorado Bears. West Virginia is coming off a big 68-53 road win against the Pittsburgh Panthers last Friday.

Northern Colorado lost a tough one to Northern Iowa 77-72 in their last decision, giving them a 2-2 record on the season.

The Bears two wins have come against DII Colorado College and Incarnate World. Their two losses are a blowout defeat by Texas and the close game with Northern Iowa where they came in as 9.5 point underdogs.

The Bears’ most talented player is Bodie Hume. The guard leads the team in scoring averaging 17.5 points per game to go with 4.5 rebounds.

Where and when: WVU Coliseum, 7:00 p.m. ET

Matchup to watch: The biggest matchup to watch in this game is how are the Bears going to go about defending Oscar Tshiebwe. The five-star big man had an outstanding game against Pittsburgh last Friday, recording a double-double of 20 points and 17 rebounds to go with three blocks. To put it simply, there is not a player on the Northern Colorado roster who can stop Tshiebwe if he plays the way he did on Friday. The frontcourt is the much weaker part of the Bears’ roster, and Kur Jockuch, Roy Grigsby, and Kai Edwards are going to have a hard time slowing down Tshiebwe. If the Mountaineers are able to get him the ball, Oscar can dominate this game and lead the Mountaineers to an easy victory.

Picks to click: UNColorado: Jonah Radebaugh WVU: Emmitt Matthews Jr

For Northern Colorado, Jonah Radebaugh came on very strong in their last game against Northern Iowa. Against one of the better teams, they will face all season, Radebaugh scored 25 points to go with six rebounds and three assists. He played 45 minutes in the game and was the spark plug that almost helped Northern Colorado pull off the upset. If they want to upset the Mountaineers at home, they will need a similar performance from Radebaugh.

For West Virginia, Oscar Tshiebwe is their most talented player, but I believe Emmitt Matthews Jr. is their most important. I think we are going to see a common theme this season, as Matthews goes, so does the team. The sophomore has been very impressive in the first two games of the season scoring 13 and 17 points to go with 15 rebounds. In a game against a much weaker opponent like this, Matthews should be able to really excel on the offensive end.

Game Prediction: Northern Colorado 62 West Virginia 81 West Virginia puts up another great offensive performance much like they did in their opener against Akron. Northern Colorado keeps the game somewhat close in the first half, but the Mountaineers pull away to earn the 19 point victory.

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