Sat, 23 Jan 2021

No. 15 WVU tops VCU behind Culver's 23 points

Field Level Media
27 Nov 2020, 13:55 GMT+10

Derek Culver collected 23 points and 15 rebounds to lift No. 15 West Virginia to a 78-66 victory over Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday in the semifinals of the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D.

West Virginia junior Sean McNeil scored 16 points to match his career-high total set on Wednesday in the Mountaineers' 79-71 win over South Dakota State.

Oscar Tshiebwe recorded 11 points and 16 rebounds for West Virginia (2-0), which faces Western Kentucky (2-0) in the championship game on Friday afternoon. The Hilltoppers advanced to the final with a 75-69 victory over Memphis on Thursday afternoon.

Sophomore Miles McBride followed up his career-high 23-point performance versus the Jackrabbits with 12 points on Thursday.

VCU sophomore Nah'Shon Hyland scored 13 points on Thursday, one day after posting a career-high 23 in the Rams' 85-69 win over Utah State. Junior Vince Williams Jr. followed a personal-best 15 points versus the Aggies with 11 more for Virginia Commonwealth (1-1), which will tangle with Memphis on Friday.

McNeil sandwiched 3-pointers around Taz Sherman's bid from beyond the arc to boost West Virginia's advantage to 54-42 with 13:14 to play. The Mountaineers began to work the interior before Hyland made a pair of layups to spark an 8-1 run for Virginia Commonwealth.

The Rams, however, were unable to trim the deficit to under nine points the rest of the way.

West Virginia bolted out of the blocks by scoring the game's first 13 points, with Culver making four free throws and two layups to highlight the surge.

McNeil's 3-pointer pushed the Mountaineers' lead to 24-9 before Virginia Commonwealth answered with an 18-5 run to pull within two points with 5:03 to play in the first half. Williams Jr. keyed that run with seven straight points, including a 3-pointer.

Culver stopped that run with a three-point play and a layup before McNeil drained another 3-pointer to send West Virginia on its way to a 42-33 lead at intermission. The Rams didn't help themselves by shooting 1-for-10 from 3-point range in the half.

--Field Level Media

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