Nov. 15, 2009
Morgantown, W.Va. - No. 8 West Virginia scored the first 11 points of the second half to snap a tie at the intermission and post an 83-60 season-opening victory Sunday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
Loyola (1-1) had nine different players score while shooting 57.7 percent (15-26) in the first half while the Mountaineers shot just 32.4 percent (12-37), including two for 17 from three-point range, and the teams were knotted 31-all at the intermission.
But West Virginia found its shooting touch at the start of the second half, scoring 11 straight points in just over three minutes, including a pair of three-pointers from Darryl Bryant, for a 42-31 lead. The Greyhounds would battle back to within six at 48-42 with 13:34 remaining on a Julius Brooks dunk.
The Mountaineers would answer once again, tallying 21 of the game's next 26 points for a 69-47 lead with just under eight minutes remaining. The final margin was West Virginia's largest of the game.
"These games help us prepare," Greyhounds sixth-year head coach Jimmy Patsos said following the game. "You can't simulate in practice what we saw in the second half. We learned we are a pretty good team and found out we can't play just 25 minutes when we are playing this kind of caliber opponent. They made some shots and proved they are a Top 10 teams."
After falling behind 3-0 at the start of the game, Loyola played even for the first 12 minutes. When sophomore forward Shane Walker dunked following a pass from junior guard Brian Rudolph, it capped eight straight Greyhounds points and Loyola led 20-13 with 10 minutes left. West Virginia could never build a lead of more than three and four straight points from senior guard Tony Lewis gave Loyola a 31-29 lead with seconds remaining. But the Mountaineers' Da'Sean Butler corralled and air ball under the basket with time expiring to knot the score at the intermission.
Butler led all scorers with 26 points and added seven rebounds and five assists as four Mountaineers tallied in double figures. Bryant added 15 points with five assists, Kevin Jones chipped in with 14 points and seven boards and Casey Mitchell scored 13. Dan Jennings came off the bench to record nine points, a game-high 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
For the Greyhounds, Walker notched career-highs with 14 points and three steals and junior guard Jamal Barney's 11 points was the only other Loyola double-figure scorer. Brooks scored his first collegiate points and finished with eight while tying Walker and sophomore forward Anthony Winbush for team-high rebounding honors with five.
The Greyhounds return to action Wednesday night with a visit to UMBC at 7:30 pm. The game will be televised live on MASN as well as being carried on ESPN Radio 1300.