Mountaineers Bounce Back Beat Bellarmine

MORGANTOWN, WV—Jesse Edwards led the way Sunday in a non-conference 62-58 win over Bellarmine at the WVU Coliseum. Edwards scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in helping the Mountaineers even their season record to 3-3. It was a balanced scoring effort as Quinn Slazinski scored 16, Kobe Johnson 13 and freshman Ofri Naveh added a best 10. Seth Wilson got into the scoring with six points. Eight different players got in the game. Again the Mountaineers were undermanned still with three key players out.

Kerr Kriisa still has a three game suspension left by the NCAA. He cannot play until he has served all nine games. He should be available for the Mountaineer’s game against Massachusetts on December 16. In the meantime the Mountaineers have games coming up against St. John’s Friday, the backyard brawl vs. Pitt on Wednesday, Dec.6, and Drexel Saturday, Dec. 9.

“We talked about how critical rebounding would be and we’d guard for 30 seconds, chase them and chase them, they’d move the ball and then give up an offensive rebound and chase them for another 30 seconds, ” interim West Virginia coach Josh Eilert said. “That’s exhaustion there and I could see it in my guys out there.,” he added.

The free throw line was where the Mountaineers won the game. WVU connected on 17 of 21 for 81 percent. Bellarmine was 5 of 8. WVU made four of its final five field goal attempts to end the contest.

“For the most part we did a pretty good job executing the game plan. It just came down to finishing the plays,” Eilert said. “You look at the stats and they got 14 more shots than we did and they made one more field goal than we did.”

WVU’s largest lead was eight points early in the second half.

WVU’s game on Friday night against St. John’s is part of the Big 12-Big East battle. The contest will feature the return of coach Rick Pitino who coached at Louisville. He’s no stranger to visiting the Colosseum. WVU and Louisville met several times when both schools were in the Big East.