It Wasn’t Pretty, But WVU Holds On For Win Over Marist In Advocare Opener
West Virginia avoided a disastrous loss in Thursday’s Advocare Invitational opener against Marist at the H.P. Field House near Orlando, holding on for an 84-78 victory. But it’s certainly not a performance that drew rave reviews from WVU head coach Bob Huggins.
Marist, which is coached by former Mountaineer assistant Mike Maker (2005-07), came to Orlando with an 0-3 record, having lost to Lehigh (84-76 in overtime), Massachusetts-Lowell (76-73) and Army (94-73).
But despite being a 30-point favorite, West Virginia (4-1) got a huge scare from the Red Foxes.
WVU didn’t shoot well in the first (13-of-39 from the field and 3-of-20 from three) or the second half (13-of-35 from the field and 5-of-18 from three).
But despite that, the Mountaineers still seemed comfortably in front midway through the second half with a15-point lead, 63-48. Marist put together a 19-4 run, though, powered by eight straight converted field goals, including four three-pointers. That tied the game a 67-67, and WVU was in a dogfight for the final 5:36.
The Mountaineers did respond, though. A big three by Jevon Carter and then a pair of triples by Chase Harler gave West Virginia little breathing room down the stretch, and it held on for the victory.
Three Mountaineers finished in double figures in scoring, as Carter had 20 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Sagaba Konated added 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Daxter Miles had 12 points and seven assist, though he also turned it over four times.
The Red Foxes, who committed 24 turnovers though only eight times in the second half, got 19 points from David Knudsen, whose 5-of-9 three-point barrage led the Marist come back.
With the win, WVU moved on to face UCF in the Advocare semifinals. The Golden Knights (4-0) defeated Nebraska 68-59 on Thursday. That matchup between West Virginia and Central Florida will take place at 5 p.m. Friday and will be broadcast on ESPN2.