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WVU beats Eastern Kentucky

West Virginia guard Taz Sherman (12) is defended by Eastern Kentucky guard Jomaru Brown (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Morgantown, W.Va., Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Kathleen Batten)

MORGANTOWN (AP) — Taz Sherman scored a career-high 28 points to lead West Virginia to an 80-77 comeback victory over Eastern Kentucky on Friday night.

Malik Curry scored 10 of his 16 points over the final seven minutes for the Mountaineers (5-1).

Jannson Williams led Eastern Kentucky (5-2) with 22 points. Braxton Beverly and Michael Moreno scored 12 apiece.

West Virginia trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half but clawed back with scrappy defense and solid shooting after halftime. The Mountaineers grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and forced 17 turnovers.

Sherman hit a jumper to put the Mountaineers ahead to stay with 3:26 remaining. Sherman was fouled on the play and missed the subsequent free throw, but West Virginia got the ball back off the rebound. Curry’s jumper with the shot clock winding down put the Mountaineers ahead 75-71.

Eastern Kentucky’s Devontae Blanton missed a potential tying 3-pointer with a minute left. Curry responded with a driving layup and Sherman sank a free throw for a two-possession lead. The Colonels’ Russhard Cruickshank hit a 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

Eastern Kentucky made four 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the game and jumped ahead 12-2. West Virginia clawed back with a 13-3 run to briefly take a 36-35 lead, but the Colonels shot 57 percent from the floor in the first half and led 41-38 at halftime.

West Virginia shot 22percent (5 of 23) from 3-point range and 61percent (19 of 31) from the line for the game.

West Virginia’s Sean McNeil, who scored 15 points in a win over Clemson on Sunday, was held to five points on 2-of-11 shooting.

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