Basketball drops first game at West Virginia

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Virginia will look to rebound from its tough road loss against the Mountaineers when the team takes on Davidson Dec. 16, after a break for final exams. 

Callie Collins | Cavalier Daily

Playing its second true road game of the year, the Virginia basketball team looked to continue its unbeaten start to the season against West Virginia. The Cavaliers were unable to overcome their own turnovers and West Virginia’s hot shooting, as the Mountaineers handed them a 68-61 loss.

Virginia (8-1) struggled with the Mountaineers’ (8-1) trademark “Press Virginia” defense early, leading to an early 0-7 deficit. The Cavaliers rallied back on big shots from sophomore forward Mamadi Diakite and senior guard Devon Hall, and most of the first half was a back-and-forth defensive struggle. The Cavaliers fell down by eight in the closing minutes of the half, but a big three by Hall and a last-second foul on redshirt freshman guard De’Andre Hunter allowed Virginia to climb back and end the half down 26-29.

The absence of Virginia’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Kyle Guy, was noticeable in the first half. Guy was held scoreless, missing all six of his field goals and turning the ball over twice. The thunderous crowd at the WVU Coliseum booed him heavily each time he touched the ball.

The second half turned into a shootout between the teams as each offense heated up. The Cavaliers went down 32-39 early, but Guy caught fire soon after, firing three straight buckets from beyond the arc to put Virginia up. However, West Virginia senior guard Jevon Carter answered right back with a three of his own.

Guy would make three more triples to keep the game tight, but the Cavalier defense could not slow down the Mountaineers on offense, where they made countless tough buckets to stay ahead. A three from Virginia sophomore guard Ty Jerome cut the Mountaineers’ lead to two with less than three minutes, but his costly turnover and foul on Carter on successive drives spelled doom for the Cavaliers. Carter made key free throws down the stretch as the Mountaineers cemented the win.

Hall lead Virginia with 19 points and six assists, while Guy added 18 points, all on three-pointers. Carter led West Virginia with 23 points and sophomore forward Lamont West chipped in 22.

Virginia will look to rebound from its tough road loss against the Mountaineers when the team takes on Davidson Dec. 16, after a break for final exams. The Cavaliers have three non-conference clashes remaining before ACC play begins Dec. 30.

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