Our selections for outstanding performances in West Virginia's StubHub! Legends Classic game against Tennessee at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Mountaineer forward Da'Sean Butler had his best game of the season in front of his hometown crowd in West Virginia's narrow 74-72 loss to seventh-rated Tennessee.
Butler scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed seven boards before fouling out with less than a minute to play. In addition, the Newark native seemingly put the Mountaineers on his back for a long stretch late in the second half. After Tennessee All-America candidate Chris Lofton hit a guarded 3 to push UT's lead to nine, Butler scored five straight points to keep the Mountaineers in the game. Later, the silky smooth sophomore put a move on one Tennessee defender that left the Volunteer sitting on the hardwood before pulling up and banking in two over forward Wayne Chism.
At times in the first half, West Virginia looked as though it would not even challenge the Volunteers, due to what head coach Bob Huggins referred to as "unforced errors." The Mountaineers had 13 turnovers and 12 fouls in the first half. Things settled down in the final frame as the Blue and Gold committed just six turnovers the rest of the way.
West Virginia's normally efficient backcourt of Darris Nichols and Alex Ruoff combined for eight of the team's 19 total turnovers.
Mountaineer head coach Bob Huggins picked up the first technical foul of his WVU coaching career at the 9:00 mark of the second half. Both Huggins and UT head coach Bruce Pearl were T'd up by referee Bryan Kersey, as was UT big man Chism.
On the plus side, the Mountaineers obliterated Tennessee on the boards by a 42-33 advantage. Butler and forward Joe Alexander both led the way with seven.