VMI Keydets fall at #15 West Virginia, 90-55

vmiThe 15th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers overcame a game effort by the VMI Keydets to pull away in the second half for a 90-55 win in NCAA basketball action Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va.

VMI (1-7) had stayed close in the first half, trailing by 13 at halftime and 11 with 18:22 to go, but a 22-6 run by the Mountaineers (8-1) early in the second half broke the game open and sent WVU on to the victory.

In the loss, VMI was led by QJ Peterson’s 17 points. Peterson was VMI’s lone double-digit scorer in the game, as the Keydets shot 19 of 54 (35.2%) from the floor. VMI went 8 of 25 (32%) from long range and just 9 of 16 (56.3%) from the foul line.

WVU was paced by Daxter Miles Jr., who had a game-high 20 points including 5 of 6 from long range. The Mountaineers finished 27 of 61 (44.3%) overall, but an impressive 10 of 19 (52.6%) from long range.

In addition, WVU made it to the line 42 times with 26 makes (61.9%). 22 of those made free throws came in the decisive second half.

The Keydets never led in Saturday’s contest, but after falling behind by 16 nine minutes in, battled back to get within five (22-17), thanks to an 11-0 run capped by a Fred Iruafemi basket at the 7:34 mark. It was still a five-point contest at the5:30 mark, 25-20, but the Mountaineers closed the half on a 13-5 run to go up by 13 at the break.

The Keydets were still within 13 after a Keith Smith three-pointer with 13:48 remaining made it 54-41, but WVU answered with a 22-6 run that gave the Mountaineers a 29-point lead with 8:13 to go. The Keydets got no closer than 28 the rest of the way.

VMI basketball will return to action Tuesday, when the Keydets take on Charleston Southern at Cameron Hall. Game time is set for 7 p.m.