West Virginia continued their physical defensive play in Disney World today. When you play so tough on both ends of the floor, you will inevitably send both teams to the floor often. The free throw shooting would prove to be the difference in the game.
Davidson would prove to be the better free throw shooting team, converting 17 of 22 attempts (77.3%). West Virginia would struggle mightily from the charity stripe, only able to sink 8 of 17 shots (47.1%). Had WVU been a little more stout from the free throw line, WVU would have taken home a win.
The Mountaineers played well for the majority of the game, owning the low post against the smaller Davidson front court. Aaric Murray and Deniz Kilicli combined for 19 rebounds and 8 points. Murray also came up with two crowd pleasing blocks.
As well as Murray and Kilicli played early on, their physical play would limit their playing time in the second half. Kilicli would finish the game with 3 fouls, yet Murray would foul out with just over 4 minutes left to play.
The Mountaineers got a big spark from point guard Juwan Staten. The speedy guard did a great job of distributing the ball on the offensive side of the court and played smothering defense on the opposite end of the court. Staten came up with 4 steals, two of which he took for easy lay-ups in the dying moments of the game to keep WVU within one possession.
Credit has to be given to Davidson for not getting too frazzled by the Mountaineers physical man coverage. The Wildcats were patient with their offense, often able to find an open man along the baseline, especially for three point shots. The late defensive lapses cost the Mountaineers 6, big three point baskets.
The Mountaineers will have the opportunity to finish their Old Spice Classic experience on a high note Sunday at 4:30 on ESPN. They will face the loser of Oklahoma vs Gonzaga.