Darrel Mitchell made sure not to be bothered by a little extra defense when he took the most important shot of the game. Mitchell scored a game-high...
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Darrel Mitchell made sure not to be bothered by a little extra defense when he took the most important shot of the game.
Mitchell scored a game-high 26 points, including the final three-pointers in regulation and overtime. The latter swished through on a highly contested shot from the corner with 5.3 seconds left to give Louisiana State a 71-68 victory over No. 13 West Virginia on Saturday.
“I kind of knew when I let it go that it was going to hit,” Mitchell said. “A guy got his hand up, but it didn’t affect me.”
The winning shot was Mitchell’s fifth three-pointer of the game. LSU (3-0) had a total of six threes.
“If he was off balance, I hope he keeps shooting that way,” Tigers coach John Brady said.
With five seniors — four starting — the Mountaineers (2-3) were expected to build upon their first trip to the final eight of the NCAA tournament since 1959.
Instead, West Virginia lost its third consecutive nonconference game for the first time in 25 years.
“It’s been a long time since we lost three in a row,” West Virginia coach John Beilein said. “It’s hard to bounce back, but it’s my job to get these guys to do that.”
Mitchell and 310-pound forward Glen Davis moved through West Virginia’s defense and made more than 50 percent of their shots from the field.
Davis had 23 points — six in overtime — and 14 rebounds for LSU.
“We broke down the pros and cons of West Virginia, and that’s one of their weaknesses,” Davis said. “They were not a good rebounding team. We took advantage.”
Davis controlled the inside for his 13th career double-double.
After Mitchell’s go-ahead three-pointer, LSU fouled J.D Collins, who missed a free throw. The rebound was tipped out to Pat Beilein, whose three-point attempt bounced off the backboard and rim as time expired.
The teams finished regulation tied at 62.
The Mountaineers were led by Mike Gansey’s 25 points. He made 7 of 11 three-point attempts, both career highs. Beilein added 15 points.
West Virginia retired Jerry West’s No. 44. An All-American in 1959 and 1960, West had a spectacular NBA career and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.
“I’m sorry to West Virginia for being a distraction,” West said after the halftime ceremony, at which point LSU was up 37-27.
Other Top 25 games
At No. 2 Texas 90, Louisiana-Monroe 55
P.J. Tucker made all nine of his shots from the field, including his first collegiate three-pointer, to score 19 points in leading the Longhorns (5-0) over the Indians (3-3).
Texas’ LaMarcus Aldridge had his fifth consecutive double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Cecil Hood led Louisiana-Monroe with 15 points.
At No. 18 Iowa 79,
Texas-San Antonio 46
Adam Haluska scored 15 points and Greg Brunner added 14 to lead the Hawkeyes (4-1), who started slowly against the inexperienced Roadrunners (2-1) before using a late first-half rally to begin pulling away.
The victory capped a week in which Iowa beat No. 8 Kentucky before losing in the final minutes to Texas in the title game of the Guardians Classic.
At No. 21 Geo. Washington 80, Norfolk St. 69
J.R. Pinnock scored 14 of his 19 points after halftime and Mike Hall added 18 for the Colonials (2-0), playing their second game without suspended Pops Mensah-Bonsu.
Montrell McDonald added 12 for George Washington, which trailed once but didn’t have the game comfortably in hand until the second half. That is largely because of guard Tony Murphy, who scored 25 points for Norfolk State (0-4).
Mensah-Bonsu, a senior forward, is suspended for the team’s first three games for NCAA violations related to his early declaration for the NBA draft.
Southern Illinois 80,
Eastern Washington 72
Guard Jamaal Tatum scored 37 points to lead the Salukis (2-2) past the Eagles (1-3) in the seventh-place game of the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage.
Southern Illinois trailed 53-48 with 9:48 left, but Tatum scored his team’s next 19 points for a 67-57 lead.
Rodney Stuckey, a graduate of Kentwood High School, led Eastern Washington with 24 points.