MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — For the second year in a row, West Virginia handed Virginia its first loss of the men’s basketball season and, aside from the venue, there weren’t many differences.
Senior guard Jevon Carter had a game-high 23 points and sophomore forward Lamont West added 22 as the Mountaineers defeated the Cavaliers 68-61 at WVU Coliseum.
One year and two days earlier, to be exact, West Virginia had defeated Virginia 66-57 at the Cavaliers’ John Paul Jones Arena.
On the occasion of UVa’s first trip to Morgantown since 1985, 19th-ranked WVU jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led by as much as eight, 29-21, before UVa scored the last five points of the half.
The Cavaliers were fortunate to be that close while shooting 28.6 percent (6 of 21) from the field. Sophomore Kyle Guy, averaging a team-high 16.6 points coming into the game, missed five 3-point attempts and was 0-for-6 at the half.
West Virginia controlled the action early in the second half until Guy, who had missed his first seven shots, hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions over a 67-second span to cut the score to 39-38 with 12:43 left.
UVa subsequently took the lead, but only briefly, when Devon Hall hit two free throws to make it 45-44 with 10:02 left.
Hall finished with 19 points and Guy added 18, all in the second half. He was 6-of-17 from the field for the game, including 6-of-14 on 3-pointers.
“I felt like I shot way too much overall,” said Guy, a sophomore guard who was averaging a team-high 16.6 points going into the game. “My teammates kept feeding me and telling me to keep shooting so that’s what I did.”
After West Virginia had increased its lead to seven at 39-32, Guy hit 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions as the Cavaliers grabbed a 41-39 lead.
The lead went back and forth, with Virginia grabbing its last lead on a pair of Hall free throws with 10:02 left. The Mountaineers countered with a 7-0 run started by a Carter jumper and then two Carter free throws.
“[Carter is] a heck of a player and he and West made some tough shots,” UVa coach Tony Bennett said.
“I think we played well in stretches and there were some stretches where we didn’t play well and there were just enough of those stretches to cost us.”
West, who had entered the game as the Mountaineers’ fourth-leading scorer with 10.5 points per game, was shooting 27.5 percent on. 3-pointers (11-of-40) before Tuesday night.
He was 4 of 9 against Virginia, not that the Cavaliers were unaware of him. West had scored eight points in nine minutes against them last year, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“He hadn’t been shooting it well,” Hall said, “but we remembered him from last year. We knew he could shoot. He’s got a good-looking stroke.”