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Mountaineers win their first game in Spain

In their first of three exhibition games in Spain, the West Virginia Mountaineers basketball team played poised and hungry against the Madrid Allstars.

During the first quarter, the Mountaineers controlled the tempo and glass, and they smothered their opponent on the defensive end.

On the first play of the game, Chase Harler scored an easy layup off a backdoor cut and a flashy assist from Jordan McCabe. Then, on the team’s first defensive possession, Emmitt Matthews Jr. deflected the ball, got the steal, and dunked the ball with force in transition.

West Virginia held Madrid to zero made field goals in the first seven minutes of the first quarter, and they also recorded five steals.

At the end of the first, WVU led the game 20-10.

During the second quarter, the squad started to get a little lazy on the defensive end, but they kept pushing along. McCabe passed the ball well and made smart plays. After yet another steal, the Matthews Jr. got out in transition, went up for another dunk, and posterized a Madrid big man, where he ultimately converted the old-school 3-point play.

At the end of the first half, defensive and mental breakdowns during the second quarter caused the Mountaineers only to lead the Allstars 44-30.

WVU started the second half of the game somewhat slow; they weren’t as intense on defense as they were at the beginning of the game.

The team transitioned from playing a half-court press to a full-court press, but it didn’t go as good as many would’ve thought. While the team was in a full-court set on defense, they broke down in the paint, didn’t communicate as good as they once did, and allowed too many wide-open three-point attempts.

As the game was coming to a close, they banded back together as one unit. The Mountaineers slowed down the game’s tempo, made smart decisions, played decent on-ball defense, and knocked down good jump shots.

When it was all said and done, WVU pulled away with a 97-69 win over Madrid.

Matthews Jr. led the team with 17-points, seven rebounds, two steals, one big block, and one brutal posterizing dunk.

Freshman guard Miles “Deuce” McBride ended the game with 14-points, five boards, and four steals.

McCabe only took two shots during the game. He did, however, facilitate very well. McCabe finished with three-points and eight assists.

Derek Culver played well, but after he received a technical foul late in the third quarter, he didn’t appear back on the floor. Culver finished the game with 10-points, six boards, two steals, one block, and he shot six for eight from the free-throw line.

As a collective, the Mountaineers turned the ball over ten times, while forcing Madrid to turn the ball over a total of 20 times. They recorded 12 steals and 41 rebounds, and shot 10-13 from the foul line, 30-53 from inside the arc, and 9-26 from beyond the arc.

The Mountaineers will face Valencia Basketball Academy on August 9, 2019, at 1:30 P.M. EST.

Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS

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Jharad K. McClung Lester
Jharad K. McClung Lester is a college student at West Virginia University, where he majors in Journalism. He's an avid Mountaineer sports fan and writer. Jharad is the founder and owner of his sole proprietor business, Sneaker House, where he buys and sells sneakers. Along with that, Jharad is a political columnist at the Rogue Review and has words published in the Charleston Gazette. In addition to writing his column, Jharad is a sports writer at The Athletes Hub, which is an all-sports content website. Along with writing sports, Jharad's also a political advocate and started one of the biggest political and advocacy clubs at WVU, which is called Mountaineers for Independence. If you need to contact him for personal or business reasons, follow him on Twitter, @JharadLester, Instagram, @jhar304, Facebook, or email him at jkl0017@mix.wvu.edu.
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