WVU vs. Miami Game Recap - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU vs. Miami Game Recap

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Nick Arthur, Morgantown -

Truck Bryant scored a career high 27 points and Deniz Kilicli added 18 as West Virginia defeated Miami 77-66 on Saturday night at the Coliseum.

"I've been feeling good. Ever since last game, I just needed that one big game to put me where I needed to be," Bryant said. "I just feel like I can't be stopped right now."

The Mountaineers held the Hurricanes without a field goal for the first nine minutes of the second half, while on a 25-3 run.

It was a tale of two halves as the Mountaineers outscored the Hurricanes 42-29 in the second half, after trailing 37-35 at the half.

What was the difference in the second half?

"We guarded a lot better," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins. "We made some shots. Everybody looks better when the ball goes in."

Kilicli thought effort was the key with the second-half success.

"It was the effort," he said. "We understood the situation, and went out and played our best."

West Virginia improved to 6-2 on the season.

The Mountaineers had their best shooting night from the free-throw line all season. West Virginia was 15-18 in that category.

Led by senior guard Malcolm Grant, Miami used sharp outside shooting to take command in the first half. The Hurricanes hit five early three-pointers and led 21-15 midway through the first 20 minutes of play.

The visitors used effective dribble penetration to set up outside shooters.  

West Virginia guards Truck Bryant and Gary Browne were able to keep the game close with effective outside shooting of their own.

Bryant and Browne combined for 19 first-half points.

Despite nearly 50 percent shooting from Miami in the first half, the Mountaineers only trailed by two at the half.

The Hurricanes held West Virginia senior forward Kevin Jones in check in the first half. Jones had just four points on 1-4 shooting.

Junior forward Deniz Kilicli made his presence known to begin the second half. Four quick Kilicli points and the Mountaineers had their first lead of the game, 41-37.

Bryant hit a three-pointer, and suddenly the Mountaineers were on an 11-1 run to start the second half.

Freshman guard Aaron Brown had an impressive game off the bench. Brown hit a three with 11 minutes left to play and West Virginia led 60-40.

"He's made some big shots," Huggins said. "I think he continues to get better."

The Hurricanes didn't quit. They hit another outside shot and cut the deficit to 66-54 with less than seven minutes remaining.

However, Bryant and the Mountaineers proved to be too much on Saturday night. The Mountaineers extended their lead to 75-59 with 3:38 left to play, while on their way to a non-conference victory.

Bryant has been spending extra time working on his shot.

"He's been working really hard," Jones said. "You can tell it's really paying off for him. I hope he continues to play well – which I know he will."

Jones wants the team to continue to improve and focus on the task at hand.

"We can't celebrate too long," Jones said. "We just have to keep working and keep getting better."

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