Miles McBride took over the Mountaineer offense to push No. 22 West Virginia to their first ranked victory over No. 2 Ohio State in the Cleveland Classic on Sunday.
Ohio State was in command of the messy first half, keeping West Virginia at an arm’s length with their successful foul shooting. There were 23 total fouls called in the opening period, 14 of which went against the Mountaineers.
Ohio State made 75 percent of their shots from the stripe, while West Virginia missed 6, making just 40 percent.
The Mountaineers were kept in it by a first-half surge from Miles McBride, who logged 10 points to start the game. The rest of the scoring load was spread around the lineup, but the most important bucket of the half came from Chase Harler at the 7:30 mark when he drilled a go-ahead three-pointer to give WVU their first lead of the game.
Those 6 missed free throws would be the difference, however, as the Buckeyes took a 37-31 lead into the locker room.
The Mountaineers faced one of their toughest matchups yet in Kaleb Wesson, a 6-9 stretch forward. West Virginia allowed him to score just 7 points from the field on 27 percent shooting.
Foul trouble was a concern for the Mountaineers coming out of the break after Oscar Tshiebwe was called for his fourth foul of the game, which prompted Bob Huggins to put him on the bench for much of the half. That issue would resurface at the 3:37 mark when Mountaineer big man Logan Routt was whistled for his fifth.
That didn’t seem to faze West Virginia in the slightest, as McBride would pick up right where he left off in the second half, adding 9 points to his total.
“It felt like just a big tournament game, that’s what everybody was saying, you know,” McBride said. “We played like we want to win the tournament so I’m proud of our guys and the way we stepped up.”
Many of his opportunities would come off Ohio State turnovers, of which there were 12 in the second half — contributing the bigger portion of their total of 22 for the game.
Tshiebwe sat on the bench with foul trouble for most of the game. In just 8 minutes, he chipped in 3 rebounds, a block and a steal.
His frontcourt counterpart Derek Culver was a force inside everywhere except the scoring column, adding 7 points and 10 rebounds.
“Our other guys played well,” Huggins said. “We didn’t get much from our inside guys. I mean, Derek got us a couple of baskets towards the end but Chase [Harler] played really well.”
Harler finished the contest with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
The Mountaineers don’t have a ton of time to bask in the upset. They once again hit the road to face Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse, a venue in which they haven’t yet won. Although McBride says this game felt like a “big tournament game,” Huggins says it’s just the beginning.
“We get a whole lot of that in our league,” Huggins said, “we get a whole lot of tournament atmosphere.”