West Virginia will look for a more complete performance on Wednesday night when it opens a four-game homestand against Navy in Morgantown, W. Va.
The Mountaineers (6-2) saw their modest two-game winning streak come to a halt on Saturday after a porous performance in the second half led to an 84-74 setback at Xavier. West Virginia made just one of its final 12 field-goal attempts.
“How many layups did we miss? How many second-chance points did we miss? How many wide-open jump shots did we miss?” Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins said. “The difference in the game was when they had those kind of opportunities they capitalized, and when we had those kind of opportunities we did not.”
Erik Stevenson scored a team-high 16 points on Saturday, albeit only two came after intermission.
Stevenson, however, made his first three 3-point attempts and is 13 for 25 from beyond the arc in his last five games.
Stevenson paces West Virginia by averaging a team-best 14.4 points, followed by Tre Mitchell (12.1), Joe Toussaint (10.9) and Emmitt Matthews Jr. (10.4).
Navy (5-3) has lost the first two contests on its four-game road trip. The Midshipmen dropped an 82-77 decision at Lipscomb on Wednesday and an 80-72 setback at VMI three days later.
“Defensively, we need to improve,” Navy coach Ed DeChellis said. “We have to understand that we need to play really, really hard with great energy and great grit if we are going to get better as a basketball team.”
Austin Inge made 9 of 11 shots from the floor during his career-high 21-point performance against the Keydets.
Tyler Nelson followed up making six 3-pointers in a 20-point, 12-rebound performance versus the Bisons with 15 points and six boards against VMI.
Nelson averages a team-best 15.1 points per game. He is shooting 52.3 percent from the floor (46 of 88) and 53.1 percent from 3-point range (26 of 49).
–Field Level Media