MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – Derek Culver and Jermaine Haley scored 16 points apiece to lead West Virginia over Akron 94-84 on Friday night.
Emmitt Matthews Jr. added 13 points and Miles McBride scored 11 points for the Mountaineers (1-0).
Xeyrius Williams scored a career-high 20 points for the Zips (1-1). Channel Banks and Loren Cristian Jackson added 16 points apiece and Tyler Cheese scored 15.
Culver, Haley and Matthews are holdovers from a team that went 15-21 and lost 83% of its scoring a year ago.
After a shaky start that saw Akron jump out to a six-point early lead, West Virginia took command and used an 11-0 run for its largest lead, 67-50, with 12:53 left in the game.
But West Virginia got sloppy with the ball, committing 11 of its 14 turnovers after halftime and enabled the Zips to mount a comeback that fell short.
Akron: The Zips couldn’t match the Mountaineers blow for blow. Akron’s bench was outscored 42-9.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers were prepared to show off star freshman Oscar Tshiebwe, a McDonald’s All-American. Instead, West Virginia showed it won’t have to rely all the time on its inside game. Tshiebwe committed three, first-half fouls and went to the bench early. He finished with five points and five rebounds in 12 minutes.
Akron hosts North Carolina Central at home next Friday.
West Virginia plays at Pittsburgh next Friday.
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)