Raequan Battle Gets First Start As Mountaineer

MORGANTOWN, WV—As the saying goes, “If it wasn’t for Bad Luck I’d have no Luck at all,” has been the theme for the men’s WVU basketball team so far this season.  WVU finally gets Raequan Battle back but had to play without starting center Jesse Edwards and eventually fell to visiting Radford 66-65 with 1.5 seconds left in the contest Wednesday night.

“It came down to rebounding ,” West Virginia Coach Josh Eilert said afterward. “They got 11 second-chance points, and we continue to say over and over, Jesse is out of the equation now. He was our leading rebounder and one through five has got to check their man and get it done. We were minus eight on the glass tonight and that can’t happen, ” he added. “It’s got to be our  number one key each and every night and we’re not going to be successful otherwise.”

WVU shot 57 percent in the second half until the final three minutes when they went cold, making just one of their last seven. “Some of them were forced,” Eilert admitted. “We could have 100 percent got better shots and when we really share it and make the extra pass and not try and force things we’re a really good team. Otherwise , if we’re not forcing the issue, it goes south. I don’t think they are selfish, but I think they’re trying to do too much sometimes.” Eilert added.

Edwards will be sidelined for at least a month after surgery the other day. Coach Eilert will probably use a three guard starting lineup made up of Akok Akok, Quinn Slazinski at forwards with Battle , Farrakhan and Kriisa in the backcourt.

WVU (4-7) plays Saturday afternoon vs. Toledo at the Coliseum at 1 p.m.