Coppin State (5-3) at (6) West Virginia (6-0)
Saturday, December 12th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Ralph Lauro, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: WVU Coliseum (14,000) -- Morgantown, West Virginia. Television: BEN. Home Record: CSU 4-1, WVU 2-0. Away Record: CSU 1-1, WVU 0-0. Neutral Record: CSU 0-0, WVU 4-0. Conference Record: CSU 0-1, WVU 0-0. Series Record: West Virginia leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: In what figures to be a mismatch, the sixth-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers host the Coppin State Eagles in a non-league affair tonight in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers continue to climb the rankings as they roll through their non-conference schedule. After winning the 76 Classic, WVU returned home and defeated Duquesne by a 68-39 score on Wednesday. It marked the team's seventh straight win over Duquesne, as WVU improved to 6-0 on the year.
As for CSU, it returned to the win column on Wednesday with a 63-58 overtime victory against Loyola-Maryland. The triumph snapped a short two-game slide and pushed the squad to 5-3 overall. The Eagles though, now begin a grueling eight-game road trip that includes stops at Michigan and Oklahoma State.
The Eagles and Mountaineers have met just one time previously on the hardwood, with WVU picking up a 71-47 victory in Morgantown during the 2004-05 season.
CSU held Loyola scoreless for the final 2:05 of overtime, as it notched a 63-58 win on Wednesday. The Eagles got the job done on defense all night long, limiting Loyola to a miserable 28.4 percent shooting effort from the floor. Offensively, Lenny Young led the charge with 21 points and six boards, while Sam Coleman recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Young currently paces the team in scoring with an average of 13.0 ppg and Kareem Brown follows with 10.4 ppg. Vince Goldsberry chips in 10.1 ppg and he has done a nice job setting up his teammates, handing out a team-high 3.1 apg.
The Mountaineers were stout on defense this past Wednesday, forcing a whopping 24 turnovers and holding Duquesne to a paltry 31.8 percent shooting from the floor in a 68-39 romp. WVU scored 29 points off those mishaps and won the battle on the boards, 45-34, including a 20-8 advantage on the offensive glass. Kevin Jones led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Wellington Smith posted 11 points. Da'Sean Butler added 10 points and eight rebounds and he continues to lead the team in scoring with an average of 16.8 ppg for the season. Jones contributes 13.2 ppg and a team-best 7.3 rpg for WVU, which is generating 18.8 turnovers per game and limiting foes to a mere 57.2 ppg.
WVU has the ability to get the job done at both ends of the court and it should have little trouble controlling each side in tonight's victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: West Virginia 88, Copping State 55
12/12 10:35:47 ET