MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–The 11th-ranked Mountaineers will take on No. 19 Richmond on Sunday in a Top 20 battle at the Coliseum.
WVU (5-1) is coming of a 62-50 victory over Northern Texas. Despite picking up the win, the Mountaineers struggled making shots in the first half, making just 9-of-35.
Playing complete games has been something that has plagued WVU frequently through its first six games.
During the first half of the Mountaineers’ win over Northern Texas, Derek Culver was kept off the boards but the junior forward performed much better in the second half.
Culver has been WVU’s leader this season and they will need him to continue to do so against the Spiders. He is averaging 14.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest.
The big man has also been a leader in the locker room for the Mountaineers.
Coming into the season, head coach Bob Huggins expected big things from Sean McNeil (11.0 points). However, the junior guard hasn’t been quite the shot maker he expected.
In the last two games, McNeil has been better. Against the Mean Green, he made 5-of-9 from the floor and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, finishing with 15 points.
Taz Sherman (12.0 points) has been a constant force for WVU off the bench. Miles McBride is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.7 points per contest.
Gabe Osabuohein (4.3 points, 6.0 rebounds) has been consistent on the defensive end. Last year he led the team in charges and through six games he has two blocks and seven steals.
Richmond (4-0) is one of the top teams in the Atlantic 10 and has won eight straight, dating back to last season.
Tyler Burton led the Spiders to a 78-68 win over UNI earlier this week, where he scored a career-best 21 points and grabbed 13 boards. The sophomore forward averaged 12.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
Grant Golden (15.3 points) is the team’s leading scorer. Nathan Cayo (14.5 points) is second and Blake Francis (13.8) is third.
Jacob Gilyard (12.3 points) is also a capable scorer. He is on the Bob Cousy Award watchlist for the nation’s top point guard.
The Spiders and Mercer are the only two teams in D-I with five players or more averaging 12 points per game.
Big wins against top opponents are not unfamiliar territory for head coach Chris Mooney and his team. On November 10, they knocked off No. 10 Kentucky. In his 16 seasons with the Spiders, he has defeated at least one power-conference opponent in 14 of those years.
Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.
Photo Credit: Dale Sparks- WVU Sports