No. 25 West Virginia Ends No. 6 Virginia’s Win Streak
By HANK KURZ Jr.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Esa Ahmad hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining Saturday and No. 25 West Virginia ended No. 6 Virginia’s 24-game home winning streak with a 66-57 victory.
Jevon Carter led West Virginia (6-1) with 11 points and Nathan Adrian had 10. The Mountaineers scored 11 of the game’s last 13 points.
Darius Thompson scored 14 points to lead Virginia (7-1), but the Cavaliers never got into any kind of rhythm offensively. West Virginia had a lot of do with that, forcing 14 turnovers and converting them into 18 points. Virginia scored just five points off eight Mountaineers miscues.
Ahmad’s 3-pointer was just the fourth of the game for West Virginia in 15 tries, but Tarik Phillip followed a miss by Virginia with an inside basket, making it 60-55, and Virginia ran out of time as the Mountaineers finished it off at the free throw line. They were 16 for 19 from the stripe overall.
BIG PICTUREWest Virginia: Virginia was just the third major program the Mountaineers have faced this season — they drubbed Illinois and lost by four to Temple — and none of their next five opponents are daunting, but there’s enough experience and toughness built into their pressing style that staying healthy is Job One before Big 12 play.
Virginia: Winning is always a priority, but so is having options, and coach Tony Bennett was trying to get both accomplished late in the game when he had freshman guard Ty Jerome on the court for a long stretch. Jerome, like fellow freshman Kyle Guy, was a prolific scorer in high school and with the Cavaliers sure to scratch for points at times this season, getting all the younger options up to speed and battle tested will be key for the Cavaliers before ACC play commences.
UP NEXTWest Virginia: The Mountaineers go back into the stat-padding portion of their schedule as they face Western Carolina in Charleston, West Virginia before consecutive home games against VMI, Missouri-Kansas City, Radford and Northern Kentucky.
Virginia: The Cavaliers wrap up a four-game home stand with games against East Carolina and Robert Morris before heading west to play at California.
Photo: USA Today Sports
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.