WVSports – WVU goes 80-68 to Purdue in first loss

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WVU entered their first game of the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament after beating each of their opponents by double-digit margins, and were off a 4-0 start to the season.

Purdue also entered the game undefeated and would be West Virginia’s first true Test against a ranked team. To secure a win, the Mountaineers would have to find a way to deal with Zach Edey, the tallest player in Big 12 history at 7′ 4”, who has averaged over 20 points to date , 14 rebounds and three blocks.

The Boilermakers started off with a 9-0 run, before Jimmy Bell Jr. scored off Zach Edey for the first Mountaineer points of the game.

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Joe Toussaint filled in after just five minutes of play and provided an offensive spark for WVU by scoring eight points on 100% shooting for the 10th minute.

Purdue mostly controlled the game and with six minutes left in the half, got their first double-digit lead off a jumper from Gillis.

The Boilermakers would score over two minutes after that, but West Virginia was still unable to close the gap, having only made one of their last eight shots at this point.

Purdue hit a hard three in the corner to back them up by double digits to close out the half, by a score of 43-32.

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Shotmaking was a big factor in the double-digit deficit for WVU as they shot just 2/15 from three-point range in the first half. Zach Edey was quite efficient for Purdue, racking up 12 points in that span.

Joe Toussaint was the lone highlight for the Mountaineers, who finished the half with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench.

Kedrian Johnson got it going with a three-ball to start the second half after playing just six minutes in the first half due to foul problems.

At 14 minutes, Erik Stevenson had scored the final six points for the Mountaineers, starting with a thrilling putback dunk, to bring his team within single digits.

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An alley-oop from Kedrian Johnson to Mohammed Wague in transition made it 57-47, with just over 11 minutes remaining.

After five minutes, WVU had gone on an 11-2 run to come within four points, off a three by Kedrian Johnson.

Purdue crawled back to a two-digit lead, but Erik Stevenson scored five points in seven seconds to keep chipping away.

However, West Virginia was unable to close the gap, and despite not leading once during the game, the Mountaineers never gave up, but lost their first game of the season 80-68.

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