It wasn’t always a pretty performance, but the West Virginia Mountaineers opened the 2011-12 season with a 78-71 victory at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. The Mountaineers were led by an impressive performance from Kevin Jones on the inside, who stood strong against an Oral Roberts frontcourt that is relatively deep for a mid-major. Jones finished with 20 points on only 12 shots, while grabbing eight boards for WVU.
In the backcourt, Darryl Bryant led the Mountaineers with 17 points. Truck was able to get to the free throw line, where he went 8 for 9 to make up for a cold night from behind the arc. He iced the game for WVU, scoring the final six points as ORU made it very interesting in the final three minutes.
The Golden Eagles were impressive in their own right, matching up well against WVU on the inside and getting to the free throw line 30 times. Dominique Morrison had a terrible shooting night but led all scorers with 21 points. Had ORU been able to shoot just slightly better from downtown, they could have easily off the season-opening upset. After WVU maintained a comfortable seven to ten point lead for much of the second half, a Warren Niles three cut the Mountaineers’ lead to just one with two and half minutes to play. But Truck Bryant would score the final six points to ice the game and prevent the upset bid.
West Virginia will host Kent State next Tuesday morning, with tip set for 10 AM as a part of ESPN’s 24 hours of hoops event.