CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Juwan Staten scored 15 points, including two free throws with seven seconds left to preserve No. 22 West Virginia’s 69-66 victory over Marshall on Sunday.
West Virginia (9-1) is off to its best start since going 11-0 in the 2009-10 season, when it reached the Final Four.
Jonathan Holton and Jevon Carter add 14 points apiece for the Mountaineers and Gary Browne scored 10.
Justin Edmonds led Marshall (3-6) with 18 points. Austin Loop scored 13 and Ryan Taylor had 11.
West Virginia struggled from the field for most of the game. Staten’s pull-up jumper from the lane put the Mountaineers ahead to stay at 62-60 with 2:16 left.
Edmonds’ 3-pointer with 16 seconds left brought Marshall within 67-66. After Staten’s free throws, JP Kambola’s 3-point try for Marshall went off the front of the rim at the buzzer.
West Virginia surpassed 100 points against VMI on its last trip to the Charleston Civic Center nearly three weeks ago. Against Marshall on the same neutral floor, the Mountaineers hit a wall, shooting 39 percent (22 of 57) from the floor and committing a season-high 15 turnovers.
But Marshall committed 24 turnovers and attempted 19 fewer shots than West Virginia.
Marshall did put together some solid stretches. Loop sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a two-handed dunk by Kambola to give the Thundering Herd their largest lead, 49-41, with 11:26 left in the game.
Marshall made just two field goals the rest of the way.
West Virginia didn’t exactly seize the momentum, though, going 10 of 18 from the line during a 12-2 run over a six-minute stretch for a 53-51 lead with 6 minutes left to set the stage for a close finish.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers earned their fourth consecutive win over their intrastate rival and the eighth in the last nine meetings.
Marshall: The Thundering Herd lost their sixth straight game under first-year coach Dan D’Antoni.
Marshall hosts Division II King University on Tuesday night.
West Virginia plays North Carolina State at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
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