MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – (December 28, 2020) — The No. 7-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers welcome the Northeastern Huskies on Tuesday afternoon as they wrap up 2020.
West Virginia (7-2, 1-1 Big 12) looks to rebound after a loss to No. 3-Kansas last week.
Originally, WVU was scheduled to play Buffalo on Tuesday afternoon, but the Bulls had to shut down their program due to COVID-19. From there, operational director Josh Eilert was able to find a team that needed to fill a spot in their schedule as well.
Eilert was able to reschedule a game once again and found Northeastern (1-4). NU has played games against four quality teams, beating Massachusetts (78-75) in the second game of their double-header.
The four losses come to Massachusetts (94-79), Syracuse (62-56), Old Dominion (66-62) and Georgia (76-58).
This marks the second time that the Huskies have traveled to Morgantown.
The first time was on November 29, 2003, when current WVU Assistant Coach Ron Everhart was coaching Northeastern. Everhart and the Huskies beat the Mountaineers, 91-84.
West Virginia led at the half, but the Huskies scored 56 points in the second half to upset WVU.
Recently NBA retired guard J.J. Barea recorded 19 points on 6-of-15 shooting against the Mountaineers. The 2011 NBA Champion also dished out 10 assists.
Drew Schifino led West Virginia with 20 points. The 2002-03 All-Big East player pulled down seven rebounds in the loss.
The Mountaineers look to even the all-time series at one-a-piece on Tuesday.
So far in the nine games played, Deuce McBride leads the team in points with 15.4 (per game). The sophomore guard also averages 3.8 rebounds and four assists.
Sean McNeil has really stepped up his scoring for the Mountaineers, averaging 11.6 points so far. McNeil went 6-of-6 from three in the first half against the Jayhawks last week.
Oscar Tshiebwe hasn’t been living up to his sophomore season hype, averaging 8.1 points and seven rebounds in only about 19 minutes per contest.
WVU coach Bob Huggins expects Tshiebwe to return to his former self.
“I expect to see a lot more from Oscar,” Huggins said. “Oscar is a talented guy, he’s getting better, he’s starting to become more and more and more the old Oscar.”
“But I expect a lot from Oscar, a lot more, actually,” Huggins added.
The players and coaches were able to have a well-needed break from the team and spend time with their families during Christmas.
Coach Huggins knows his players needed a few days off mentally to enjoy time with family.
“It’s Christmas. It’s always good to be able to have Christmas with your families,” Huggins said.
The West Virginia Mountaineers will host the Northeastern Huskies on Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. Coverage is on ESPN+.