Mountaineers take early exit in NCAA tournament

BIRMINGHAM, AL.—WVU’s Kedrian Johnson almost pulled out a victory with a last second buzzer shot but the Mountaineers (19-15) fell to Maryland (22-12) 67-65 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  Johnson led all scorers with 27 points but his potential winner glanced off the side of the rim as the horn sounded. 

Maryland overcame a sluggish start in which the Mountaineers led by 12 points but the Terrapins  caught up and had a 32-30 lead at the half.  WVU had a 16-4 lead at one point . The Mountaineers could have built an even bigger lead but poor shooting was the problem.  The Terps hit nine of its last 13 shots and were a perfect 7 of 7 at the foul line and only had two turnovers during that last first half span. 

Both teams battled to a 35-35 second half. The Terps shot 51.1 percent from the field to WVU’s 39.3 percent. WVU was 42.1 percent from three point range. Maryland was only 33.3 percent from three point range. Maryland turned the ball over 13 times to WVU’s 12. Maryland will face first seed Alabama in the second round. 

WVU Coach Bob Huggins came up short on his 26th trip to the NCAA Tournament. This team battled hard from an 0-5 start in Big 12 play. We are proud of these young men and the effort they put in for all of West Virginia.