After turning in their absolute worst performance of the season on Wednesday, the Mountaineers opened with a much improved first half this afternoon at the Carrier Dome. The Mountaineers have managed to slow down the Syracuse attack with tenacious man-to-man defense that has resulted in a slowed-down, low-scoring half, which ended with West Virginia down 28-24.
Kevin Jones, as usual, has been exceptional, and leads all scorers with 11 first-half points. The Mountaineers were boosted by the efforts of Aaron Brown off the bench, who scored five quick points when he got in the game. Junior forward Dominique Rutledge saw action and grabbed a couple of big rebounds. Truck Bryant continues to struggle, going scoreless in the first half. The Mountaineers did struggle holding on to the ball, turning it over nine times in the half.
The Orange are led by guard Brandon Triche, who had six points in the first half.
All in all, this half has been hotly contested, and the Mountaineers could be in position to pull the upset if they continue to play well in the second half.
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