|Field Goal %||45.8||34.0|
|Three Point %||40.0||24.0|
|Free Throw %||55.6||71.0|
|D. Miles Jr.||34||7-14||1-7||0-1||1||4||5||2||3||0||3||4||15|
In the first meeting in almost six years, the West Virginia Mountaineers (9-1) survived a second half comeback by the Pitt Panthers inside the Peterson Events Center, 69-60, in their first true road game of the year.
Lamont West came out on fire to start the game, going 2-3 from three, giving the Mountaineers an early 6-0 lead.
The Mountaineers would build a 10-point lead in a little under the first seven minutes of play (15-5), but Pitt would continue to fight and would put together a quick 5-0 run to cut the lead to five.
Then West Virginia would start to pull away, responding with a 7-0 run building a 12-point lead, and the Mountaineers were rolling.
With 7:20 left to play in the half, Jevon Carter would score 12 of straight points in under 2 minutes to give West Virginia a 20-point lead (38-18).
In the midst of Carter’s run, Pitt head coach Kevin Stallings would be assessed a technical foul at the 6:29 mark. The Panthers looked to be falling apart and was going to get ran out of their own gym.
Everything was in West Virginia’s favor going into halftime with an 18-point lead, 45-27, behind 48.5% shooting from the field and 50% from behind the arc.
Carter led all scorers with 17 points, also contributing 4 assists and 3 rebounds, and Lamont West was the only other player in double figures with 11 points.
Pitt came into the game shooting 72.4% from the free throw line, and they kept themselves within striking distance in the first half, hitting 15-21 (71.4%) from the line.
West Virginia had some players in foul trouble in the first half. Jevon Carter Wesley Harris, Sagaba Konate, Chase Harler and Teddy Allen all had two fouls.
The Panthers would outscore West Virginia 12-6 in the first five minutes of the second half to cut the lead to 12, and they would continue to make a comeback after Jevon Carter picked up his fourth foul with 13:55 left to play in the game, forcing West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins to sit his veteran guard for a long stretch in the second half.
Daxter Miles Jr would get his fourth foul at the 11:20 mark and the Mountaineers were forced to play without the two seniors only up by 10.
Pitt would cut the lead down to 5 before Huggins would take a chance in putting his veteran guards, Carter and Miles, back in the game, but he would make and adjustment on defense, playing a 1-3-1 zone, “Just trying to survive. We had 3 or 4 starters with four fouls” said Huggins after the game, “We were playing 1-3-1 to protect them”.
The Panthers where taking advantage of the Mountaineers foul trouble and creating offense and cutting the lead to just 2 (61-59), after Wesley Harris fouled Marcus Carr on a three and completing the four-point play, making the free throw, with 5:42 to play in the game. That was Harris’ fifth foul of the game.
Pitt would go cold, going 0-5 from three, a missed tip in and 1-2 from the foul line. The Mountaineers would end the game on an 8-1 run to avoid the upset.
Daxter Miles Jr scored the final four points of the game on two clutch shots and a steal, to secure the victory.
Huggins was not happy with the energy of his team after the game “We have to play with energy to play the way we play, that’s why we couldn’t press, we had no energy”.
This was a game that the Mountaineers had to go through some adversity, with Carter and Miles in foul trouble and giving up the 18-point lead, but found a way to win on the road, in a hostile environment.
It was good to see the two-leader’s comeback out on the floor and close the game out.
West Virginia has the week off during finals this week, and will play an exhibition against Wheeling Jesuit, Saturday December 16th at 2pm.