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Tuesday January 31 2023
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WVU falls to Davidson 63-60

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Deniz Kilicli had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Juwan Staten scored 15 points, but West Virginia lost to Davidson 63-60 in the Old Spice Classic on Friday afternoon in Florida.

In a game of two halves, the West Virginia Mountaineers could not put the cap on a late-game comeback against the Davidson Wildcats in their semi-final matchup in the Old Spice Classic, losing a heart breaker 63-60 in the closing seconds.

In the early going, it looked as if the Mountaineers were in control of the game.They came out with an up-tempo, run and gun style offense, which proved to be effective against a slower Davidson team.


After leading for the majority of the first half, led by point guard Jabarie Hinds’ game-high eight points at halftime, the Mountaineers let the Wildcats sneak their way back into the game before intermission.With just two minutes left on the clock, Davidson overcame an eight-point deficit to pull within two at halftime, gaining momentum heading into the locker room.


Along with Hinds, the Mountaineers have another potential-filled signal caller in Juwan Staten, a transfer player from, believe it or not, Davidson.He contributed solid playing time and points off the bench throughout the contest and finished with a team-high 15 points.Not to mention, he got an imperative steal late in the game with a minute remaining.


When the two teams took the court to battle once more, Davidson appeared to be hungry for redemption.They claimed their second lead of the entire game right after the half began, and then added an additional five points to stretch their early second half lead to seven, capping a 9-0 run.


The Mountaineers looked staggered in the second half, taking quick shots and ill-advised 3-pointers.


On the other hand, the Wildcats stuck to their game plan; running their methodical, patient, “penetrate and pass” style offense.They got their big men involved frequently, specifically Clint Mann, who was nearly perfect from the field, and Chris Czerapowicz, who led Davidson in points and rebounds with 15 and nine coming off an ankle injury.


The turning point and momentum changer occurred when center Jake Cohen came off the bench and gave an instant spark. In one sequence, he blocked the playmaker Hinds and then hustled down the court for a post-up field goal against the much larger Deniz Kilicli.


Leading for most of the second half, the Wildcats took their foot off the pedal just enough to allow the Mountaineers to rally late.


With roughly six minutes remaining in regulation, Gary Browne, a defensive specialist as characterized by Bob Huggins, nailed a 3-pointer to cut the Davidson lead to five and give some life to the West Virginia bench.


Browne had the second-most points on the team with 11.


The teams traded baskets and possessions until there was a minute remaining, when Staten stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast to bring his team to within one point. However, to the dismay of Huggins and company, Davidson answered with a critical 3 from Czerapowicz to extend their lead to four with 45.3 seconds left.


Then, with the shot clock running down and the game clock at 13 seconds, guard Terry Henderson for the Mountaineers nailed a long range 3 from the corner to keep hope alive and to keep the game to a one possession difference.


Nevertheless, with two free throws nailed by Nik Cochran, West Virginia needed a 3-pointer and failed to get it. Staten missed a toughly contested, game-tying 3 to end the game, and the Mountaineers chances for an Old Spice Classic championship.


Davidson will advance to the final round and play the winner of a Gonzaga-Oklahoma matchup.
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