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Mountaineers top Akron to open season

Culver and Haley each score 16 points in 94-84 triumph

MORGANTOWN (AP) — Derek Culver and Jermaine Haley scored 16 points apiece to lead West Virginia over Akron 94-84 on Friday night.

Emmitt Matthews Jr. added 13 points and Miles McBride scored 11 points for the Mountaineers (1-0).

Xeyrius Williams scored a career-high 20 points for the Zips (1-1). Channel Banks and Loren Cristian Jackson added 16 points apiece and Tyler Cheese scored 15.

Culver, Haley and Matthews are holdovers from a team that went 15-21 and lost 83% of its scoring a year ago.

After a shaky start that saw Akron jump out to a six-point early lead, West Virginia took command and used an 11-0 run for its largest lead, 67-50, with 12:53 left in the game.

But West Virginia got sloppy with the ball, committing 11 of its 14 turnovers after halftime and enabled the Zips to mount a comeback that fell short.

BIG PICTURE

Akron: The Zips couldn’t match the Mountaineers blow for blow. Akron’s bench was outscored 42-9.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers were prepared to show off star freshman Oscar Tshiebwe, a McDonald’s All-American. Instead, West Virginia showed it won’t have to rely all the time on its inside game. Tshiebwe committed three, first-half fouls and went to the bench early. He finished with five points and five rebounds in 12 minutes.

AKRON (1-1)

Reece 3-5 2-2 8, Williams 5-14 7-7 20, Cheese 4-16 5-6 15, Banks 6-11 1-3 16, Jackson 4-9 6-6 16, Sayles 0-1 0-0 0, Ali 0-2 2-2 2, Riak 1-1 3-3 5, Tribble 1-3 0-2 2. Totals 24-62 26-31 84.

WEST VIRGINIA (1-0)

Culver 4-15 8-8 16, Tshiebwe 2-6 1-1 5, Matthews 4-7 2-2 13, McCabe 0-1 2-4 2, Haley 6-7 4-9 16, Routt 0-0 1-2 1, McNeil 0-1 4-4 4, Sherman 3-7 2-2 8, McBride 3-5 5-6 11, Harler 3-5 2-2 9, Knapper 4-7 0-0 9. Totals 29-61 31-40 94.

Halftime–West Virginia 47-33. 3-Point Goals–Akron 10-31 (Banks 3-7, Williams 3-10, Jackson 2-6, Cheese 2-7, Ali 0-1), West Virginia 5-13 (Matthews 3-5, Harler 1-3, Knapper 1-3, Sherman 0-2). Fouled Out–Riak. Rebounds–Akron 36 (Reece 10), West Virginia 36 (Culver, Haley, Matthews 7). Assists–Akron 13 (Jackson 6), West Virginia 17 (McBride 4). Total Fouls–Akron 28, West Virginia 23.