WVU Men Drop Home Opener

Drew Schifino had 20 points and Tyrone Sally had 18 points and eight rebounds but the Mountaineers could not stop the hot shooting Northeastern Huskies in front of 7,033 fans in their home opener.

Marcus Barnes had a career high 31 points and Jose Juan Berea added 19 points and a career high 10 assists to lead the visitors to a 91-84 win over the homestanding Mountaineers. Northeastern shot 63.6% from three point range in the second half, and 52% for the game. Every time the Mountaineers mounted a charge, the Huskies buried a key three-pointer to quiet the home crowd.

"That's the best game we've played in two years, in case you were wondering," an elated coach Ron Everhart said after the game.

Patrick Belein tossed in 14 clutch points for WVU and Tyler Relph and D'or Fischer added eight points each, as the Mountaineer bench continued to make key buckets on offense. For the game WVU shot 52.5% from the field, but never could get a key stop down the stretch.

WVU jumped out to a quick 19-5 lead, and the Mountaineers seemed to be right back on the track they started on against James Madison. However, Northeastern was not fazed by the large crowd, and their three-point barrage began with just over thirteen minutes left in the first half.

Northeastern outscored WVU 20-6 over the next five minutes to tie the game at 25 and it was nip and tuck for the rest of the half. Tyrone Sally led the way for WVU in the first half with nine points and Schifino had eight, which allowed the Mountaineers to take a 40-35 lead to the locker room at halftime.

The Huskies took their first lead of the second half with 16:05 to play on a 3-pointer by Barnes that made the score 51-49. The Mountaineers tied the game on the next trip down when D'or Fisher took a nice dump down on one of Sally's five assists and jammed it home for a 51-51 tie with 15:27 remaining.

Each time the Mountaineers would hit a clutch basket, however, the Huskies would answer with a clutch shot of their own.

In the game's key sequence, Barnes hit a three to make the score 54-51. Schifino hit a layup 20 seconds later to cut the lead to one. Herber was called for a foul on Barnes who was in the act of shooting from outside the arc. Barnes nailed all three after a lane violation following a miss, and the lead grew to four at 57-53. Jarmon Durisseau-Collins hit a jumper from the right side to cut the lead back to two, but then Cornelllius Wright got free for a layup to extend the lead back to four.

After a missed three-pointer by Pat Belein, Kevin Pittsnogle was called for a foul underneath the Huskie basket, sending Wright to the line for two shots.

Wright nailed the first, and missed the second, but Northeastern got three offensive rebounds on the series before D'wan Youmans was called for a foul, giving WVU the ball with 11:56 to play. Sally jammed home a dunk on the next trip down to cut the lead back to three and Pat Belein nailed a three from the Mileground to tie the game at 60 with 10:51 to play, and the home crowd began to get a little rowdy. Northeastern wasted no time in quieting the crowd, however, as Sylbrin Robinson got free for a layup and then Barea stole the ball from Pittsnogle and fed Barnes for another layup to stretch the lead back to four.

Tyler Relph drove the lane for a layup, and then after a defensive rebound by Schifino, Relph fed nicely to Schifino for a layup of his own to tie the game once again at 64.

After trading points for the next three minutes, Sally nailed a three from the left corner that gave WVU the lead at 72-71 with 6:34 remaining. Jesse Dunn nailed a three-pointer 12 seconds later to give Northeastern a lead they would not relinquish.

The Mountaineers were held scoreless for the next four minutes. Meanwhile Northeastern scored 11 straight, including Dunn's three to extend the Northeastern lead to ten at 82-72 with 2:43 to play.

The Mountaineers mounted one last charge, outscoring the Huskies 6-1 over the next minute to cut the lead to five at 83-78.

But Barnes then nailed another three and the suspense was over, and the Mountaineer crowd headed for the exits.

The Mountaineers (1-1, 0-0) travel to Charleston to face the St. Louis Billikens on Tuesday December 2nd. Northeastern (2-2, 0-0) returns to Boston to face Suffolk on December 2nd.

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