Portland, OR – The West Virginia Mountaineers (6-1) beat the Florida Gators (4-3) 84-55 in the final consolation game of the PK85 Legacy Invitational. Forward Trey Mitchell led all scorers with 17 rebounds, while guard Erik Stevenson scored 17 points on an efficient 6-8 shot from the floor and forward Emmitt Matthews Jr. had 13 points that night.
Florida’s Will Richard registered the game’s first basket after a poor pass from WVU guard Kedrian Johnson for an easy lay-in, but Johnson responded to subsequent possession and found guard Erik Stevenson with a backdoor pass to level the game by two.
Stevenson’s seven points in the first four minutes of the game gave the Mountaineers a 12-8 lead over the Gators.
The Gators tied the game at 12 but went 8-1 from the field and the Mountaineers went on a 10-0 run to take a 22-12 lead at the 13:04 first-half mark.
West Virginia forward Emmitt Matthews Jr. drove the ball straight into the basket from the left wing, flew through the air and slammed it down to extend the Mountaineers’ lead to 13, 30-17, with an 8:36 in the half stayed.
The Mountaineers led by as much as 16 before blasting 1-7 from the field and committing three turnovers but retained a double-digit advantage and a pass from Seth Wilson to Trey Mitchell down the baseline ended the drought and WVU extended their lead up to 13 with 2:50 in the first half.
West Virginia continued to shoot 1-6 from the field and the Gator was able to score five points in the last two minutes to cut the WVU lead and close down to eight by the break, 41-33.
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Matthews got the Mountaineers rolling in the second half, burying a three on opening possession, igniting a 13-2 Mountaineers run and topping it with a deep two (originally recorded as a three pending further review) and scoring seven points during that stretch and quickly extended the lead to eight points in the first three and a half minutes.
West Virginia scored seven straight points from the time-out to increase the run to 20-2 from the break. Stevenson destroyed his third three-pointer in as many attempts for his 15th point of the game and Mohamed Wague ended the sprint with an emphatic slam dunk as the Mountaineers extended their lead to 26, 35-61 at the 14:35 mark of the second half .
The Mountaineers went scoreless for four and a half minutes but kept the Gators at bay, only keeping them off the field 4-16 in the second half. Trey Mitchell ended the drought by driving to the basket, drawing the foul and hitting both free throws.
West Virginia maintained its distance from Florida in the second half. Emmitt Matthews Jr. came away with 10 points in the second half and finished the night with 13, and Mohammed Wague snagged all nine of his rebounds in the number two half, and seven of his eight points came in the final 20 minutes of the game.
The Mountaineer held the Gators to just 22 points in the second half as West Virginia drove to an 85-55 win.
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