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WVU blows 14-point lead in 82-71 loss to Marquette

West Virginia could not overcome a strong second half push from Marquette, as the Mountaineers lost 82-71 in the semifinals of the Charleston Classic on Friday evening.

West Virginia shot 71.4% from three in the first half, but then shot only 16.7% in the second half, while Marquette shot 30.8% from three in the first half, but then flipped that number around in the second half, shooting 61.5% in the second half to fuel them to victory.

The Mountaineers opened the game trying to play catch-up as Marquette got off to a 7-0 run early in the game, but West Virginia quickly responded with a 6-0 run of their own, as a Taz Sherman jumpsuit tied the game at 14-14.

West Virginia took back the lead when Pauly Paulicap made a short jumpsuit near the basket, and then Jalen Bridges hit a transition three-pointer to put West Virginia ahead 21-16.

From that point on, West Virginia was able to to control the remainder of the half, as they went on a 9-0 run near the end of the half, and forced three turnovers in a 1:29 span nearing the end of the half, as West Virginia carried a 47-35 lead into the half.

The second half had everything going Marquette’s way. The Golden Eagles shot 64% from the field in the second half, and made 8-of-13 three-pointers in the period.

A Bridges dunk put West Virginia ahead 54-42, but Marquette answered immediately, going on a 13-0 run, with Tyler Kolek hitting two three-pointers, to put Marquette ahead 55-54. West Virginia finally got back on the board and back in front as Sean McNeil hit a corner three, to cut the deficit to one, with Marquette leading 64-63.

That was as close as West Virginia was able to get, with Marquette pulling away later in the half. West Virginia was unable to make shots late in the half, as they scored only four points in a 3:58 span in the final five minutes of the half.

Marquette’s Tyler Kolek scored eight of his team high 18 points in the second half, including shoot two-of-three from three-point territory. Taz Sherman led the way again for the Mountaineers as he had a game high 21 points, but him and McNeil only scored a combined 10 points in the second half.

West Virginia will face Clemson on Sunday in the third-place game on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography

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