MORGANTOWN - A
last second thriller in Morgantown gave West Virginia the victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies, 68-67.
This was the first time the two teams had played since the 03-04 season, and it was a classic of the old rivalry.
The Mountaineers handed the Hokies their first loss of the season.
In the first half, the Mountaineers came out with a hot start. The team immediately grabbed a lead, before Tech fought back.
However, West Virginia held a strong lead throughout the majority of the first 20 minutes. Leading by as much as 12, WVU would go into halftime with a 30-24 lead over the Hokies.
Tech's quick start in the second half had them take over the lead, and keep it for quite some time. WVU would fight back with under ten minutes remaining to take the lead in front of their home crowd.
A battle of will and wit would follow. The two teams exchanged shot after shot as the game drew close within the final minute. A missed three from WVU was met by the hands of Kevin Noreen, who put the ball up and in for a one point lead.
Cadarian Raines was sent to the free throw line on Tech's next possession. His first attempt was too strong as it bounced right back at him. His second attempt missed as well as Aaric Murray grabbed the rebound. There was 33.9 seconds remaining, and Murray was sent to the free throw line.
Murray made one of his two attempts to give West Virginia a two point lead with 31.0 seconds to go in the game.
Robert Brown would then find nylon with 14.4 remaining in the game, and on a three point shot from deep. It gave Tech a one point lead for WVU's final possession.
After a loose ball went out of bounds, an in-bound pass to Juwan Staten led him to the rim for the go-ahead layup with five seconds remaining in the game. "We Will Rock You" then came over the loud speakers and fans went crazy.
After a timeout,
Tech gave the ball to Erick Green, their leading scorer. Guarded by Juwan Staten, he put up a two-point jumper as time expired. The ball bounced off the rim, and onto the floor. The Mountaineers win.
Kevin Noreen did
all he could to help his team. The
Minnesota native had his first career double-double, and in style. As a forward, Noreen drained two three-point
shots, had 12 rebounds, and two blocks.
He finished with 14 points and was a huge part in the victory.
The three point shot played a big role in the success of West Virginia's offense throughout the evening. Several players attempted a shot from range, and the team knocked down 10-24 field goals from beyond the arc. Such shots are what kept the crowd into the game, and kept the Mountaineers within range.
Aaric Murray and Eron Harris both had impressive games for WVU. Murray found the corner of court to knock down a couple three's of his own. He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Harris, a freshman coming off the bench, had 10 points and played a big part in the eruption from the Coliseum crowd.
The rivalry between West Virginia and Virginia Tech lives on.
Next up for the Mountaineers is Duquesne (4-4) on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.