Gansey paces No. 11 West Virginia over Cincinnati
Morgantown, WV (Sports Network) – Mike Gansey paced a balanced West Virginia
attack with 14 points and eight rebounds as the 11th-ranked Mountaineers
outlasted Cincinnati, 66-57, in Big East action at WVU Coliseum.
Star center Kevin Pittsnogle added 12 points for the Mountaineers (17-4, 8-0
Big East), who have won three straight and 15 of their last 16 outings.
Johannes Herber also reached double figures with 11 points and dished out
seven assists in the win.
Eric Hicks was spectacular for the Bearcats (15-8, 4-5), who lost for the
sixth time in their past eight games. Hicks scored 22 points on 11-of-14
shooting, Jihad Muhammad added 15 points and James White chipped in with 10 in
Down by three points entering the second half, West Virginia quickly seized
the lead. Pittsnogle opened the second half with consecutive treys to give the
Mountaineers a 36-33 advantage with just over 18 minutes remaining.
The teams see-sawed back and forth for the next several minutes. Hicks’ lay-in
with 14 1/2 minutes on the clock put the Bearcats back in front 40-39.
West Virginia then made their move. A 12-3 burst over the next four minutes,
capped by a Darris Nichols layup, gave the Mountaineers some breathing room at
WVU continued to slowly pull away. A pair of Nichols’ free throws gave the
Mountaineers their largest lead, 59-47, with just under six minutes left.
The Bearcats tried to climb back in it. Hicks’ slam brought Cincinnati to
within eight, 59-51, with 3:46 on the clock.
Cincinnati would get no closer until White’s lay-in with 47 ticks left made it
Cincinnati took a slim 33-30 edge into intermission. Hicks dominated the half
with 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Gansey led West Virginia with eight.
The 6-foot-11 Pittsnogle shot just 4-of-17 from the field…Cincinnati
dominated the boards with a 43-31 edge. Hicks had 10 rebounds for the Bearcats
while Cedric McGowan had 11…WVU is now 11-1 at home, while Cincinnati is
just 2-5 on the road…Cincinnati still leads the all-time series 6-5.