Aaric Murray sparks West Virginia again
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Aaric Murray scored 23 points, a career high in a West Virginia uniform, and the Mountaineers defeated Radford, 72-62, for a non-conference victory Saturday at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W.Va.
Murray, a 6-foot-10 junior who transferred from La Salle, also had 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals for his second solid outing in a row since missing West Virginia's 81-66 loss Dec. 15 to No. 3 Michigan because of disciplinary reasons.
Since then, Murray has tallied 35 points, 18 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 blocks.
At La Salle, where Murray played two years before sitting out the 2011-12 season because of NCAA rules, his career high was 28 points.
Dominique Rutledge came off the bench for the Mountaineers (6-5) to contribute eight rebounds in 22 minutes.
Javonte Green had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Radford (5-7), which lost its fourth in a row. The Highlanders are 0-5 against West Virginia.
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins used a 1-3-1 zone defense and it ended up paying off for the Mountaineers.
"The 1-3-1 really changed the game and when you've got that much length out there it's a pretty good defense to be in," Huggins said.
Trailing, 49-48, after a Kion Brown jumper with 9:10 left, West Virginia used a 12-1 run to build a 60-50 lead. The margin swelled to 66-53 after a Gary Browne driving basket with 3:58 left.
West Virginia began the game cold from the floor, missing 11 of its first 15 shots before finishing the half making 6 of 9. West Virginia then hit 12 of 24 in the second half to make 18 of its final 33 field-goal attempts. Gary Browne came off the bench to contribute 9 points -- all in the second half -- while Juwan Staten and Dominique Rutledge added 8 points each.
• Louisiana-Lafayette 91, Duquesne 79: Bryant Mbamalu scored all 22 of his points in the second half to lead Louisiana-Lafayette (5-8) to a victory against Duquesne (7-6) at Cajundome in Lafayette, La. The Ragin Cajuns shot 71.4 percent in the second half in erasing a 38-33 Duquesne halftime lead. Derrick Colter led the Dukes with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Sean Johnson added 16 points for the Dukes, who dropped to 1-4 on the road. Shawn Long had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Louisiana-Lafayette. There were seven ties and five lead changes before Kadeem Pantophlet, who finished with a career high eight rebounds, converted a three-point play and Johnson followed with a 3-pointer in the final 1:14 to give Duquesne a 38-33 lead at the half. Mbamalu, who missed his only two field-goal attempts in the first half, scored 18 in the first 11:36 minutes of the second to give Louisiana-Lafayette a 69-59 lead. He hit his third 3-pointer to make it 66-58 with nine minutes left and his fourth made it a 10-point game 30 seconds later. Louisiana-Lafayette outrebounded the Dukes, 33-26, and outscored Duquesne, 40-30, in the paint.
First Published December 23, 2012 12:00 am