Friday, September 22, 2017

No. 19 WVU squares off against rival Virginia Tech

Daxter Miles Jr. shoots a free throw in the second half against Eastern Kentucky (Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS)

Daxter Miles Jr. shoots a free throw in the second half against Eastern Kentucky
(Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– After an eight-day hiatus, No. 19 West Virginia is back in action on Wednesday afternoon as the Mountaineers take on nonconference rivals Virginia Tech at a sold-out Cassell Coliseum.

The Mountaineers and the Hokies are meeting for the 79th time in series play, which began in 1921.

WVU (10-1) won eight of the of the last 12 games, but Virginia Tech (8-4) has won four of the last seven.

Last year the Mountaineers won 82-51 at the Coliseum.

But in 2013 when WVU traveled to Blacksburg things didn’t go so well. The Hokies overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Mountaineers 87-82.

Virginia Tech is coming off a 79-62 loss to Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 22.

WVU has won its past three games by an average of 28.3 points, but head coach Bob Huggins was not pleased with his team’s effort in the second half of an 84-59 win over Eastern Kentucky on Dec. 21.

Jaysean Paige (5) cheers on teammates against Eastern Kentucky (Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS)

Jaysean Paige (5) cheers on teammates against Eastern Kentucky
(Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS)

Against EKU, senior Jaysean Paige came off the bench and scored 17 points. Junior Devin Williams added 15 points and eight rebounds.

The 6-foot-9 Williams is averaging averaging 16.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

Sophomore guard Daxter Miles Jr. is averaging 12.8 ppt. Sophomore guard Jevon Carter is averaging 12.5 ppg and Paige averages 10.5 ppg.
The Mountaineers lead the country in steals (12.0), forced turnovers (21.9), 3-point field goal percentage defense (22.4 percent) and offensive rebounds per game (18.1).

WVU averages 29.0 points per game off of turnovers and 22.3 points per game from second chance points.

The Mountaineers have forced 30 or more turnovers in three games this season.

WVU hopes its defense can neutralize Hokies’ star Justin Bibbs. The 6-foot-5 sophomore is one of the best 3-point shooters in college hoops, shooting 61.5 percent.

Against Grambling State, Bibbs scored a career-high 31 points and connected on 7 of 10 from beyond the arc.

Zach LeDay and Seth Allen are a pair of transfers who are helping Virginia Tech on the offensive side. LeDay averages 14.9 ppg. Allen averaged 14.3 ppg and led the Hokies with 18 points against St. Joseph’s.

Freshman Chris Clarke averages 10.5 points, but will miss Wednesday’s game with a fractured right foot.

WVU has won 13 of its last 17 games against teams from the ACC.

The Hokies are 6-2 at home this season. The Mountaineers are 4-1 on the road.
Tipoff is slated for noon and the game will be televised on ESPN U.

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