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Second-half resurgence powers Mountaineers to victory over Missouri

MORGANTOWN W.Va- Despite a quiet first-half offensively, the Mountaineers rallied at halftime to help down the Missouri Tigers 74-51 in Morgantown.

The Tigers went on a dangerous 20-6 run late the first half caused by a flurry of missed shots and turnovers, which helped Missouri cut into West Virginia’s one-time large lead down to just one headed to the break. 

Despite the slump to end the half, the Mountaineers came out of the locker room strong in the second half, with many players knocking down shots, and outrebounding the Tigers 50-30 overall on the afternoon, to help ultimately pull away from the Missouri Tigers with a 23-point victory. 

Jermaine Haley and Miles McBride paced the way for the Mountaineers, scoring 15 points each and sparking the 50-point output in the second half.

“I think I am a lot more confident in my game,” said McBride on his steady improvements this season. “I’m in the gym a lot, trying to get my shooting better and working on my handles too. Teams aren’t going to keep sitting back when we’re up, they’re going to get up and press us. As a guard who has the ball in his hands, I have to be able to knock down open shots and make plays for my teammates and get them the ball too.”

Taz Sherman had one of his best games offensively this season, comfortably knocking down nine points, to go along with two assists, in just eight minutes of action on the floor. 

The Mountaineer defense was stout all game and held the Tigers to just 28% shooting from the field, including 21% in the first half. 

Gabe Osabuiohen continued his strong work in the paint, taking a charge, blocking a shot and leading the game with 12 rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench.

Bob Huggins, who tied Adolph Rupp for 7th all-time in career NCAA wins with 876, commented on his team’s poor execution early on, before picking up the pace and energy in the second half.

“We kind of stopped playing and it gave them too many opportunities,” said Huggins on his teams play early on. “We didn’t rebound the ball, and we were kind of just standing around staring for a while. I think we woke up at halftime.”

With the win, the Mountaineers move to 16-3 on the season and will face off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders next Wednesday in Lubbock. 

The game will tip-off at 8:00 PM and will be streamed only on ESPN+.

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