WVU Basketball Scores Second Easy Win During Spanish Tour
The Mountaineer men’s basketball team continued to march through Spain, winning the second game of its foreign tour with ease.
WVU destroyed the CC Basketball Academy 115-50 Friday in Valencia. On Tuesday, West Virginia defeated the Madrid All-Stars, 97-69, to open its trip. The Mountaineers will close their three-game exhibition tour on Sunday when they face the Barcelona All-Stars. They then make the long flight back to the U.S. on Tuesday.
So far in the first two games WVU has had little problem with the opposition.
In Valencia, eight different Mountaineers scored in double figures, led by Emmitt Matthews and Logan Routt, who had 15 each. Jordan McCabe followed with 14 points and 10 assists. Sean McNeil finished with 13 points. Derek Culver had 12 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and six steals, and Taz Sherman was credited with 12 points and two steals. Deuce McBride had 11 points and five rebounds. Chase Harler totaled 11 points, while Brandon Knapper had five. Jermaine Haley scored seven points and also had 10 rebounds and five steals. All 10 Mountaineers who are on the trip scored Friday, just as they each did in Tuesday’s game. Incoming freshman Oscar Tshiebwe (visa issues) and junior college signee Ethan Richardson (not yet enrolled) are not with the team on the tour, but are expected to be at WVU for the start of the fall semester, which begins Aug. 21.
West Virginia trailed 2-0 in the early going in Valencia and then again 11-9 at the 5:56 mark of the first quarter, as the C.C. Basketball Academy hit three three-pointers on successive trips to take a two-point lead.
But WVU’s defensive intensity picked up at that point and the home team went ice cold. The Mountaineers went on a 32-0 run over a nearly 11-minute stretch spanning the first and second quarters. West Virginia led 41-11 at that juncture and continued to pull away for a 60-22 advantage at halftime.
— WVU Basketball (@WVUhoops) August 9, 2019
The second half was more of the same, as WVU outscored its hosts 27-9 in the third quarter and 29-19 in the fourth.
McCabe got West Virginia off to a strong second half start with assists on three straight fast breaks, leading to dunks by Matthews and Culver, as well as a layup by Routt. Not to be outdone, Routt then took a feed from Matthews for a dunk, and then a cutting Matthews received a behind-the-back pass from Culver for another slam.
Every Mountaineer got in on the fun. McNeil, the sophomore juco transfer from Sinclair (Ohio) Community College, only had two points in the first half but had a team-best 11 points in the final 20 minutes, hitting a couple three-pointers and a long two along the way.
“I thought we played really hard,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said. “We’ve got a bunch of guys who can make shots. This has been a great experience for the veterans and for the new guys, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
As a team, the Mountaineers shot 53.9 percent from the floor (41 of 76), 36.4 percent from three-point range (12 of 33) and 70 percent from the foul line (21 of 30). They handed out 34 assists on 41 made baskets, and turned the ball over just 12 times compared to coming up with 15 steals.
The Mountaineers will now make the 220-mile trip up the eastern coast of Spain from Valencia to Barcelona for the last leg of their tour. With a couple cultural stops mixed in Huggins’ club will play one more exhibition game on Sunday before loading up and heading home on Tuesday.