PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Six straight for the Mountaineers.
West Virginia (2-0) extended its Backyard Brawl winning streak to six games after beating Pitt (1-1) 81-56 at the Petersen Events Center. The Mountaineers were led by its newest faces, especially guard Joe Toussaint, who notched 18 points.
WVU started hot, making 11 of its first 12 shots in the game. Emmitt Matthews Jr. and Erik Stevenson championed this effort as Stevenson knocked down the first game’s first three-pointer after just nine seconds, while Matthews threw down a pair of big slams.
The Mountaineers were unable to shake the Panthers off, though, as Greg Elliott sunk a trio of three-pointers to erase any early WVU leads.
Elliott’s efforts weren’t enough for the Panthers, as he finished the contest only with the 12 points he scored in the first half. Pitt held a share of the lead for just two minutes and 50 seconds in the first half; the rest of the game belonged to the Mountaineers.
Toussaint scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half to lead WVU to an 11-point halftime lead. The Mountaineers went into the locker room with a hot shooting hand, making 65.4 percent of their attempts in the first half.
WVU continued to build on its lead after halftime, maintaining a double-digit lead for all but 56 seconds in the second period.
Foul trouble came into play relatively early in the game as 23 fouls were called in the first half. Those whistles affected the Panthers more, as Nelly Cummings quickly picked up his fourth foul in the second half. Cummings picked up his fifth foul with over seven minutes left in the contest, while two more Panthers finished the game with four fouls.
Stevenson led the scoring effort in the second period adding 10 of his 16 points after halftime. The fifth-year transfer hit a pair of three-pointers and added a rebound and an assist. Matthews Jr., his childhood AAU teammate, added 10 points.
Mohamed Wague gave WVU some high-quality minutes off the bench for WVU. In 13 minutes, Wague scored 11 points with a perfect free-throw percentage while grabbing four rebounds.
WVU’s offense improved its ball security, giving up 11 turnovers — seven fewer than in its season opener against Mount St. Mary’s. The Mountaineers forced 19 turnovers on the other end and turned that into 19 points.
West Virginia’s sixth victory marks the longest Backyard Brawl streak for the Mountaineers since they took nine straight from 1964-68.
Jamarius Burton led the Panthers with 16 points and seven rebounds. Nate Santos, the lone Panther to make a repeat appearance in the Brawl, also grabbed seven rebounds with as many points.
Pitt takes its first loss of the season before it travels to Brooklyn to face No. 22 Michigan in the Legends Classic. WVU takes its undefeated record back home to face Morehead State for a rematch of the programs’ clash in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.