Taz Sherman scored a season-high 28 points as host West Virginia held off pesky Eastern Kentucky to earn an 80-77 victory Friday in Morgantown, W.Va.
Sherman knocked down four 3-pointers in seven attempts for the Mountaineers (5-1), while his teammates combined to shoot 1 of 16 from beyond the arc. Malik Curry contributed a season-high 16 points and made several key shots down the stretch for West Virginia, which also overcame 19-of-31 foul shooting.
Jannson Williams paced the Colonels (5-2) with 22 points, highlighted by five-of-eight 3-point shooting. Michael Moreno and Braxton Beverly chipped in with 12 points apiece.
Eastern Kentucky stormed out of the gates by scoring the first nine points on 3-pointers by Curt Lewis, Williams and Moreno. In all, the visitors made 7 of 14 3-point attempts and shot nearly 55 percent in the period to take a 41-38 lead into intermission.
The Colonels grew their second-half advantage to 55-48 with 15:16 to play before the Mountaineers embarked on a 9-1 run. Sherman's three foul shots with 12:42 to play put West Virginia ahead 57-56.
Eastern Kentucky bounced back to reclaim a six-point advantage, but West Virginia continued to chip away. Curry's two free throws brought the Mountaineers within a point, and then his layup put the hosts ahead with 5:54 left.
Sherman's jumper snapped a 71-71 tie with about 3 1/2 minutes to go. He was fouled on the play and missed the ensuing free throw, but the offensive rebound resulted in Curry's jumper to create a four-point lead.
Curry added two more baskets down the stretch to seal the win. He finished 6 of 8 from the field in 20 minutes off the bench.
Eastern Kentucky's Russhard Cruickshank made a 3-pointer in the waning seconds to make the final margin a bit tighter. The Colonels finished 14 of 29 (48.3 percent) from outside the arc.
--Field Level Media