WVU falls 80-68 to Purdue in the first loss

WVU entered its primary game in the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament after beating each of their opponents by double-digit margins, only to find themselves at a 4-0 start to the season.

Purdue came into the contest undefeated as well, and it would be West Virginia’s first real test against a ranked team. To ensure a win, the Mountaineers will have to find a way to deal with Zach Edey, the tallest player in Big 12 history at 7′ 4″, who has averaged over 20 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks to date.

The Boilermakers started out with a 9-0 lead, before Jimmy Bell Jr. scored. Zack Eddy got the first Mountaineer points of the game.

Joe Toussaint took his place after just five minutes of play and provided an offensive spark for WVU, scoring eight points on 100% shooting with 10 minutes to go.

Purdue controlled the game for the most part and with six minutes remaining in the first half, gained their first double-digit lead on a jump by Gillis.

The Boilermakers would continue a drought of more than two minutes after that, but West Virginia was still unable to close the gap, having hit only one of their last eight shots at this point.

Purdue hit a hard three in the corner to put them back in double digits to end the half with a score of 43-32.

Shooting was a big factor in WVU’s double-digit deficit, as they only shot 2/15 from three-point range in the first half. Zach Edey has been very effective with Purdue, putting up 12 points in the span.

The lone standout for the Mountaineers was Joe Toussaint, who finished the half with 10 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench.

Kedrian Johnson got a three-kick to start the second half, after playing only six minutes in the first due to a foul problem.

In the 14th minute, Eric Stephenson scored the Mountaineers’ last six points, starting with a slam dunk, to bring his team within single digits.

An alley from Kedrian Johnson to Muhammed Wague put it in the transition 57-47, with just over 11 minutes left to play.

At the five-minute mark, WVU went on an 11-2 run for four points, after three by Kedrian Johnson.

Purdue crept back to a double-digit lead, but Eric Stephenson scored five points in seven seconds to continue the chipping.

However, West Virginia was unable to close the gap, and despite not leading once in game duration, the Mountaineers never quit, but lost their first game of the season 80-68.

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