It could be a bit of a trap game for ranked West Virginia on Tuesday as the Mountaineers take a quick trip out of Big 12 Conference play when they host what should normally be an overmatched Northeastern squad. WVU will be a massive favorite on the NCAAB odds.
West Virginia was supposed to play Buffalo of the Mid-American Conference here, but the Bulls had to pull out due to COVID-19 issues. Northeastern and WVU have met once, on Nov. 29, 2003, in Morgantown. Current Mountaineers assistant coach Ron Everhart led his Northeastern squad to a 91-84 victory over the Mountaineers at the Coliseum.
Why Bet on Northeastern? | 2020 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis
Last season, Northeastern recorded 17 wins and lost in the championship game of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament to Hofstra.
The Huskies are 1-4 this year 4 with that lone win a 78-75 victory over UMass – two days after losing by 15 to UMass. Northeastern comes off a 76-58 loss at Georgia last Tuesday. Five Bulldog turnovers in the first three minutes allowed Northeastern to jump out to the early lead, one that they never looked back from in the first half. The Huskies hit 9-for-13 from deep in the first half and led 45-32, but then were dominated – including about a 10-minute scoreless streak.
“The bottom line is the defensive really did pick up (in the second half),” UGA coach Tom Crean said. “We had 32 deflections in the second half, we held them to 5-of-30 (shooting) in the second half and we outscored them 44-13.”
NU failed to score 20 points in a half for the first time since scoring 17 against UNCW (2/25/17). Northeastern is now 3-8 vs. Power 5 opponents over the last 11 meetings. The Huskies are 0-4 on the road this season.
Tyson Walker scored a game-high 19 points and Jahmyl Telfort finished with 15 to lead Northeastern. The Huskies were outrebounded 41-30 and were outscored 46-14 in the paint. Shaquille Walters and Chris Doherty led the Huskies on the glass with seven and six rebounds, respectively.
Telfort made his return after missing one game. He was 4-for-6 from deep and has reached double figures in all four of his collegiate games. This will be the final non-conference game for the Huskies before they open up CAA play.
Coach Bill Coen is in his 15th season for the Huskies and is eight wins shy of Jim Calhoun’s record of 250 wins, set from 1972-86. Coen ranks second all-time in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) history with 163 regular season and postseason wins, behind Miami (FL) head coach Jim Larranaga’s 183 at George Mason (1998-2011).
Why Bet on West Virginia? | 2020 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis
WVU (7-2) comes off a 79-65 loss at No. 3 Kansas last Tuesday – the Mountaineers led by a point at the half. The Jayhawks bombed away from deep by hitting 16-of-37 from behind the arc in administering West Virginia its worst loss of the season.
“We put a 3-2 zone in to try and keep them from penetrating and I thought that was pretty effective in the first half and then we had some breakdowns,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.
The game turned in Kansas’ favor when guard Miles McBride picked up three quick fouls in the second half and was forced to go to the bench with 15:50 remaining and West Virginia trailing 46-44. When he finally got back into the game, the Kansas lead was 10 and quickly swelled to 15.
Kansas outrebounded West Virginia 40-37 and outscored the Mountaineers 25-to-14 in second chance points. The Jayhawks had 19 assists on their 28 field goals while West Virginia had only 10 assists on its 26 field goals.
The Mountaineers struggled to defend Kansas in numerous aspects as the Jayhawks featured five double-digit scorers – all five in the starting lineup, which accounted for 75 of the team’s 79 points.
Sean McNeil made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points to lead West Virginia, though almost all of his production came in the first half, when the outcome was still hanging in the balance. Miles McBride added 19 points, but the bruising duo of Oscar Tschiebwe and Derek Culver was held to a combined 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Tshiebwe was second-team All-Big 12 last year but his highest-scoring output thus far this season has been 14 – a mark he passed eight times last year. His struggles continued against Kansas, where he scored just three points (1-5 FG, 1-3 FT) and collected five rebounds in 18 minutes. In addition, he also committed three fouls and turned the ball over a team-high three times.
Huggins is only 12 wins shy of reaching 900 for his collegiate career. There are just five active coaches in the game with more wins than Huggins – Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski with 1,169, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim with 970, University of St. Joseph’s Jim Calhoun with 917 and North Carolina’s Roy Williams with 890.
West Virginia is 161-44 at the WVU Coliseum under Huggins. WVU is 570-164 (.778) all-time at the WVU Coliseum and 211-50 at the WVU Coliseum in the last 17 seasons.
- West Virginia 82, Northeastern 60
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