MORGANTOWN — If it appeared like RaeQuan Battle was in a rush Saturday, properly, that’s as a result of he was.
The WVU senior ahead actually ran proper out of the Coliseum following the Mountaineers 91-81 victory in opposition to Toledo contained in the Coliseum, in an try and catch a 5:40 p.m. flight out of Pittsburgh to get again dwelling for Christmas.
Contemplating the sport ended a couple of minutes after 3 p.m., the Steelers have been enjoying a house recreation in Pittsburgh and with normal vacation visitors, if Battle was capable of make that flight, then possibly there’s nothing he can’t do.
On the basketball courtroom, it looks as if it’s precisely that for the senior ahead.
In simply his second recreation of the season, Battle scored 29 factors, 22 coming within the first half by which he dazzled a crowd of 10,693 with steals and quick breaks, 3-pointers from 27-feet away and one drive to the basket by which he switched arms in midair.
“He had 22 at half and I didn’t notice that,” stated WVU level Kerr Kriisa, who added a double-double with 12 factors and 10 assists. “He’s a silent killer. He took solely 15 photographs to nearly get 30, that’s fairly spectacular.”
Extra spectacular is the timetable behind Battle’s play. He was denied a waiver from the NCAA for his eligibility this season, forcing him to overlook the primary 9 video games of the season.
As soon as a federal lawsuit pressured the NCAA’s hand and all athletes sitting out as a result of switch guidelines have been cleared to play, Battle then missed one recreation with the flu.
Battle has missed, mainly, two months of the season, but in his return has performed like he’s been right here all alongside.
Each video games have seen Battle, a switch from Montana State, end with 29 factors, whereas taking pictures 49% from the sector.
In 58 minutes, he’s turned the ball over simply twice and he’s already been to the free-throw line 23 occasions. He added 4 steals in opposition to the Rockets (6-6).
Battle’s play reminded Kriisa of a previous efficiency final season.
“At Arizona, we performed Montana State and he had (17) in opposition to us,” Kriisa stated. “We had one in all our greatest guards, Pelle Larsson guarding him and he nonetheless had 17. If anyone will get that on Pelle, that’s stable factors.”
The victory ended a two-game shedding skid for the Mountaineers (5-7), who’ve per week off earlier than going through Ohio State in Cleveland in what shall be WVU’s last likelihood earlier than Massive 12 play to make any sort of assertion of who they’re.
As for Saturday, WVU rode Battle’s livid play early to take a 25-7 lead.
The Mountaineers then practically blew all of that cushion, as Toledo made it a recreation with eight minutes remaining when Andre Lorentsson nailed a 3-pointer to chop it to 66-64.
It was a workforce effort to seal the win. Kriisa nailed a 3 and Josiah Harris received going with tip in, a baseline drive after which a thunderous dunk off a missed shot.
Akok Akok additionally added a dunk off an offensive rebound and Noah Farrakhan added six of his 12 factors over the ultimate 4 minutes.
“Massive credit score to Akok Akok there, particularly within the second half, actually suring up a few of these rebounding points we have been having,” WVU head coach Josh Eilert stated. “It was win for us.”
Quinn Slazinski added 14 factors and Akok practically missed out on a double-double of his personal with 9 factors and 12 rebounds.