MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – (December 29, 2020) — The West Virginia basketball team was able to get back in the win column on Tuesday afternoon, defeating Northeastern, 73-51.
Despite the win, WVU coach Bob Huggins doesn’t think his team is there yet.
“I think we’ve got a long way to go. We are not consistent enough,” Huggins said. “We get it up to 13-14 then you look and it’s only six.”
“We’ve just got to be more existent,” Huggins added.
Northeastern led early, 5-4, and never saw the lead again after that.
WVU had a lot of positives on Tuesday but had their struggles. The Mountaineers shot 2-of-21 from three. Yes, you read that right.
Emmitt Matthews Jr. and Kedrian Johnson were the only players to hit a three against Northeastern.
Johnson, a first-year Mountaineer, scored his first basket in Division I play off of a fast-break dunk. The JUCO product followed that up with a three-pointer to finish with five points.
West Virginia finished with 50 points-in-the-paint, almost outscoring the Huskies just by that. Most of the easy points came from fast-breaks off of turnovers and second-chance points.
Derek Culver led the Mountaineers in points with 18, on 8-of-11 from the field. This marks the seventh time that Culver has scored in double-figures this season.
Matthews Jr. scored 13 points in the victory over the Huskies. The Washington native shot 4-of-6 on Tuesday.
Oscar Tshiebwe looked a lot like his former self, recording a double-double. The “Big O” scored 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while pulling down 15 rebounds.
Tshiebwe has been aware of his recent struggles but looks to get back on track.
“I know I haven’t been doing really good but most of the time, I just think too much,” Tshiebwe said. “I had a really good conversation with coach Huggins and he told me just to make plays and don’t think.”
In the first half, freshman Isaiah Cottrell had a leg injury off of a bang-bang play. Cottrell was taken to the locker room and didn’t return.
Coach Huggins said they will know the severity of the injury on Wednesday morning.
As the calendar switches to 2021, the Mountaineers will prepare for a date with the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman. Coverage will be on ESPN2, starting at 4 p.m.
Coach Huggins will be going for his 300th win at West Virginia on Saturday.