West Virginia one another close game on Saturday, beating Radford, 72-62.
It was the second win in a row for the Mountaineers (6-5), as they were coming off a tight win against Oakland earlier in the week, and this put them back over the .500 mark. The Oakland win had ended a two-game losing streak.
Saturday proved to be another sloppy game for the Mountaineers, which is becoming all too common. It took them until the 4:26 mark of the first half to take their first lead, though that lead would hold for the rest of the first half.
WVU was never really ever to pull away and open up a big lead, but the team found enough offense to take hold off Radford (5-7), and the lead was 31-27 at the half.
The game remained tight throughout the second half. The Mountaineers were able to open up an eight-point lead, but the Highlanders bounced right back to take a one-point less than five minutes into the half.
The game was back-and-forth from that point. Neither team was able to extend the lead beyond more than one or two scores, and the game went inside of ten minutes with West Virginia leading by just one.
Gary Browne was then able to score five consecutive points to give the Mountaineers a four-point lead, and they would use that to build off of. They would switch to the 1-3-1 defense, causing a few turnovers, and helping to open up an eight-point lead.
The switch in defense continued to give Radford problems, and West Virginia's offense continued to find success. That allowed the Mountaineers to pull away and eventually come away with the win, 72-62.
West Virginia was led in scoring by Aaric Murray, who contributed 23 points. It was the second game in a row that Murray was the team's leader. He also led in rebounds with eight. Browne added nine for the Mountaineers.
Javonte Green led Radford with 17, while Blake Smith had 13.
Kevin Noreen got the opportunity to play against his brother, Kyle, but it was Kyle that came away with the better performance. He ended up with five points, while Kevin didn't make a basket and put up three fouls.
The Mountaineers have now won all five meetings with the Highlanders, though this was the closes game the teams have played. Before Saturday, the smallest margin of victory had been 30.
West Virginia will have the holiday week off now and will return to the Coliseum to play Eastern Kentucky Sunday, December 30th. That game will be available on ESPN3.