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Sherman’s 27 points, guide WVU to win over Radford

A strong defensive performance and another breakout game for fifth year guard Taz Sherman led West Virginia to a 67-51 win over Radford on Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.

With Sean McNeil ruled out before the game with a lower back injury, West Virginia (7-1) was going to have to find a way to win without their star senior guard. Sherman stepped up in a big way, scoring 27 points, while head coach Bob Huggins used his entire bench to lift West Virginia to victory.

West Virginia got started in a fast way. On a Radford (4-5) inbounds pass, Kedrian Johnson stole the ball, then laying it in to put the Mountaineers on the board. On the next trip down, redshirt-freshman forward Isaiah Cottrell hit a jumper off the one dribble just inside the top of the key to put West Virginia ahead 4-0.

The rest of the first half was all Sherman. Sherman had 21 first half points, and helped guide the Mountaineers offensively. Fifth year forward Gabe Osabuohien had six first half points, including a layup at the end of the shot clock, putting West Virginia ahead 24-14. On the next possession, it was Osabuohien again, putting back a missed layup, while finishing with six points in the first half.

From that point on, West Virginia went on a 16-10 run over the last 8:27 of the first half, to go to the break ahead 42-24.

West Virginia shot 48.5% from the field in the first half, as well as making three three-pointers.

In the second half, West Virginia was unable to shoot the ball as efficiently as they did in the first half, but forced 10 turnovers, and scored 13 points off those turnovers.

Three of those points came early in the first half, with senior guard Kedrian Johnson stealing a cross court Radford pass, then leading to a Jalen Bridges left corner three-pointer, putting West Virginia ahead 51-27 and forcing a Radford timeout.

The West Virginia defense finished with seven steals in the second half, including two from Sherman, two from Johnson, and two from freshman guard Kobe Johnson.

Later in the half, freshman guard Seth Wilson got going, hitting a three-pointer from the right corner, putting West Virginia 61-36.

West Virginia had all 14 available players play, including freshman forward James Oknokwo scored his first collegiate points on a dunk.

West Virginia finished the game shooting 41.3% from the field, but only made only five-of-20 from three-point range. West Virginia had nine of the 14 players score points, but only Sherman scored 10 or more points.

West Virginia will now prepare for a test against No. 17 UCONN on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.

Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography

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