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Tuesday August 16 2022
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Kentucky tramples West Virginia in Sweet 16 game

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West Virginia's NCAA Tournament run came to a sudden end at the hands of undefeated Kentucky, as the Wildcats took an early lead and cruised to a 78-39 blowout over the Mountaineers.

Trey Lyles had 14 points, the Harrison twins—Andrew (12) and Aaron (13)—combined for 25 and unbeaten Kentucky Wildcats continued their pursuit of history with their 37th straight win.

West Virginia’s 39 points was the lowest total in a Sweet 16 game since the shot-clock era. The Mountaineers only shot 24 percent and went 2 of 15 from beyond the arc.

The Wildcats (37-0) jumped to an 18-2 lead, built it to 26 in the first half, and West Virginia didn't eclipse 20 points until the 11:41 mark of the second half.

“It was pretty much what I was afraid could happen,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “They were aggressive, they took it to the basket and we couldn't score, which was my biggest fear was that we would have a hard time scoring.

Juwan Staten was the leading scorer for WVU in his last game as a Mountaineer with 14 points. Staten said the Mountaineers inability to score affected their usually problematic press-defense.

“They got the ball in the right places and they played great defense on us, which made it hard for us to even set up our defense because we've got to score in order to get in our defense,” Staten said,

West Virginia freshman Daxter Miles Jr., who predicted that Kentucky “would be 36-1 after Thursday,” had a rough game. Miles failed to score, going 0-3 from the field and 0-2 from the line in 19 minutes. Devin Williams was 2-for-9, missing several layups against Kentucky’s massive front line.

Dakari Johnson scored 12 points and Cauley-Stein added 10 rebounds for Kentucky, which will face off against Notre Dame in the Elite 8 round on Saturday.

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