MORGANTOWN — Ricardo Wright didn’t trouble taking a shot over the primary 20 minutes, however the senior guard was absolute cash within the second half Monday.
Proper together with him, the SMU guard tandem of Zhuric Phelphs and Chuck Harris received going, too, and SMU ended up working proper previous West Virginia 70-58 within the first spherical of the Fort Myers (Fla.) Tip-Off contained in the Suncoast Credit score Union Area.
Wright, who entered the sport simply 1 of 10 on the season from 3-point vary, made the primary 4 he tried within the second half.
Every one among them helped the Mustangs (4-1) both erase a 36-25 halftime deficit or draw back.
“That second half, I anxious with the sport plan I envisioned them having with their deep rotation, their athleticism and the way in which they rise up and down the ground,” WVU head coach Josh Eilert mentioned on his radio postgame present. “How would we handle that late within the recreation? I believed we had a fairly good first half. We actually rebounded it nicely. They took quite a lot of uncontested photographs within the second half, they usually began to fall for them. They wore us down.”
Wright completed with 12 factors and Harris and Phelps — the Mustangs’ main scorers — received within the circulate so as to add a mixed 29 factors.
SMU advances to face Wisconsin within the title recreation.
In the meantime, the Mountaineers (2-2) will now tackle No. 24 Virginia at 6 p.m. Wednesday within the comfort recreation.
The Cavaliers (4-1) fell to Wisconsin 65-41 in a recreation that received out of hand rapidly within the second half. WVU is 10-9 all-time in opposition to Virginia with the final assembly coming in 2017.
Virginia beginning guard Isaac McKneely is a sophomore from Poca. He had 9 factors in 33 minutes in opposition to the Badgers and is averaging 10.3 factors per recreation and taking pictures 45% from the ground this season.
WVU used a bizarre first half to take early management, however drained legs might have performed an element in SMU taking pictures 60% (18 of 30) within the second half.
WVU’s regular eight-man rotation was lower to seven earlier than the sport, as backup level guard Jeremiah Bembry was injured in a apply and sat out.
Nonetheless, WVU constructed an 11-point halftime in what was an odd first 20 minutes.
WVU one way or the other took management whereas throwing unhealthy and lazy passes and turning the ball over 10 instances.
“We had been getting rather a lot higher photographs within the first half,” Eilert mentioned. “We had 10 turnovers, however nonetheless had an 11-point lead, which was promising.”
How? Effectively, finally the Mountaineers settled down and began feeding Jesse Edwards the ball down low, whereas killing SMU on the boards.
WVU held a 25-11 rebound benefit on the break and SMU was simply 3 of 12 taking pictures from 3-point vary.
Edwards, a 6-foot-11 switch from Syracuse, had 12 factors and 4 rebounds within the first half, with 4 of his baskets approaching lob dunks and one other after grabbing an offensive rebound.
He was continually doubled- and generally triple-teamed within the second half and completed with 18 factors and 9 rebounds.
SMU took the lead for good with 10:04 remaining after Phelps sliced his strategy to the bucket for a lay-up and a 48-47 lead.
“We couldn’t get that offensive cohesion and couldn’t get our protection set within the second half,” Eilert mentioned. “They wore us down.”
The Mustangs stored proper on working and gunning from there, utilizing a 12-2 run to take a 56-49 lead earlier than Seth Wilson’s three from the nook gave WVU a bit hope.
Wright’s fourth 3-pointer ended that hope, giving SMU a 61-52 benefit with 5 minutes left.
Wilson got here off the bench to supply a spark for the Mountaineers, ending with 9 factors and eight rebounds.
Quinn Slazinski was scorching within the first half, however might by no means get going within the second half. He completed with 13 factors.