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Culver powers No. 15 West Virginia past VCU in Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Derek Culver had 23 points and 15 rebounds to help No. 15 West Virginia beat VCU 78-66 on Thursday in the Bad Boys Mowers Crossover Classic semifinals.

West Virginia (2-0) will face Western Kentucky in the final Friday.

Culver rebounded from a seven-point game Wednesday night in the Mountaineers’ opening victory over South Dakota State, finishing two shy of his career high. He was 8 of 14 from the field.

Sean McNeil added 16 points, and Oscar Tshiebwe had 11 points and 16 rebounds.

Nah’Shon Hyland led the Rams (1-1) with 13 points.

West Virginia led 13-0, with VCU scoring its first basket midway through the half on a goaltending call. After the Rams cut it to three early in the second half, the Mountaineers opened a 16-point lead.

BIG PICTURE

West Virginia’s length on the inside was again a factor. The Mountaineers had 23 offensive rebounds and scored 25 second-half points. They had 17 offensive rebounds and 18 second-chance points in their opener over South Dakota State.

UP NEXT

West Virginia: Vs. Western Kentucky on Friday.

VCU: Vs Utah State-South Dakota State loser on Friday night.

•••

No. 15 West Virginia 78, VCU 66

VCU (1-0)

Douglas 3-4 0-0 6, Stockard 3-4 0-2 6, Baldwin 1-3 0-0 3, Curry 3-8 2-6 8, Hyland 5-16 3-3 13, Williams 1-7 8-8 11, Clark 3-10 1-2 7, Watkins 2-6 2-4 7, Brown-Jones 1-2 1-2 3, Banks 1-3 0-0 2, Ward 0-0 0-0 0, Medley-Bacon 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-64 17-27 66.

WEST VIRGINIA (2-0)

Culver 8-14 7-9 23, Matthews 1-4 2-2 4, Tshiebwe 4-9 3-7 11, McBride 4-11 3-4 12, McNeil 5-15 2-2 16, Sherman 4-7 0-0 9, McCabe 0-0 2-2 2, Osabuohien 0-1 1-2 1, Bridges 0-1 0-0 0, Cottrell 0-0 0-1 0, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Thweatt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-63 20-29 78.

Halftime–West Virginia 42-33. 3-Point Goals–VCU 3-21 (Baldwin 1-1, Williams 1-3, Watkins 1-5, Douglas 0-1, Banks 0-2, Clark 0-2, Curry 0-2, Hyland 0-5), West Virginia 6-16 (McNeil 4-9, McBride 1-2, Sherman 1-2, Bridges 0-1, Matthews 0-2). Rebounds–VCU 32 (Watkins 5), West Virginia 45 (Tshiebwe 16). Assists–VCU 11 (Baldwin 6), West Virginia 13 (McBride, McCabe 4). Total Fouls–VCU 25, West Virginia 21.

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