It was all arrange Wednesday night time for RaeQuan Battle to be the hero, but in a season that has been one disbelief after one other for the WVU males’s basketball group, it ended up being the opposite ’Quan that made the distinction.
Radford guard DaQuan Smith picked up a unfastened ball and fired in a miracle shot from about 18 ft out with 1.5 seconds left to provide the Highlanders a 66-65 victory contained in the Coliseum.
“It was a busted play,” mentioned Radford coach Darris Nichols, a former WVU standout who as soon as hit a buzzer-beater of his personal to beat Clemson within the 2007 NIT. “You don’t know what’s going to occur on a busted play.”
What occurred was considerably unreal.
With WVU main 65-64 with 9 seconds left on the clock, Battle stood on the foul line with a one-and-one alternative to broaden the lead.
As much as that time, Battle’s debut was like a dream come true. After battling the NCAA for his eligibility this season, after which the flu, he scored 29 factors in his first sport again.
“I felt comfy,” Battle mentioned. “I’ve been enjoying for years. Basketball is an every single day factor for me. I used to be a bit of drained, nevertheless it was enjoyable getting on the market with my group and really do what we’ve been doing all summer season.”
However on this explicit second, Battle missed that first free throw,
“I felt like I rushed it for positive,” Battle mentioned of the free-throw try. “My mother goes to be mad at me on that one.”
Radford’s Chandler Turner grabbed the rebound and threw a move to teammate Bryan Antoine.
With the clock ticking away, Antoine fired a move to Smith on the correct wing, who bobbled the move and had the ball begin to roll away in entrance of him.
Smith, who completed with 18 factors on 8 of 19 taking pictures, in some way obtained the ball again and hoisted off a shot whereas leaning again on one leg.
It was nothing however internet.
“It was an unlucky ending to a heck of a battle,” WVU head coach Josh Eilert mentioned.
It was an unlucky ending, too, for Battle’s first sport again.
Since September, Battle has gone by means of two denials from the NCAA for his eligibility beneath a mental-health exception the NCAA created this summer season.
His case was then taken to a federal court docket, the place the state of West Virginia, together with six different states mixed their efforts in a lawsuit towards the NCAA, claiming its switch guidelines violated antitrust regulation.
That ultimately was an settlement between the states and the NCAA to permit all athletes sitting out this season the correct to play.
And Battle took full benefit of it towards Radford. After lacking his first two photographs, Battle drove to the rim and scored over a double-team. He added a 3-pointer, some baseline bounce photographs and went 10 of
13 from the foul line for these 29 factors.
He additionally cramped up late within the first half — “The worst cramp of my life,” he mentioned. — which compelled his late arrival popping out of the locker room after halftime.
“Every little thing is sweet,” Battle mentioned. “It was type of tight for a lot of the sport.”
WVU guard Noah Farrakhan, who additionally gained his eligibility this season by means of the court docket case, added 16 factors and 7 rebounds.
Everybody else with a WVU jersey on struggled, because the Mountaineers had been enjoying their first sport with out star heart Jesse Edwards, who’s out for a month with a fractured wrist.
“We want a extra balanced assault transferring ahead,” Eilert mentioned. “Everyone on the ground has obtained to share it and get the actually good shot, not the compelled shot. We’ve compelled plenty of issues over the course of
11 video games.”
Edwards had surgical procedure on his fractured proper wrist Wednesday afternoon. He was nonetheless in restoration and didn’t attend the sport.
Eilert mentioned the surgical procedure was profitable.
“I haven’t talked to him but, as a result of the surgical procedure obtained pushed again later within the afternoon,” Eilert mentioned. “I obtained phrase that every thing went rather well. He’s resting and now the clock is ticking for his restoration.”
WVU guard Kobe Johnson didn’t play.
“That’s between me and Kobe,” Eilert mentioned. “It was a coach’s resolution.”
Johnson had began the season’s first 10 video games and is averaging 9.3 factors per sport.