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Morgantown, WV (Sports Network) – Da’Sean Butler scored a game-high 26 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists, as eighth-ranked West Virginia opened its 2009-10 season with an easy 83-60 win over Loyola- Maryland.
Darryl Bryant went for 15 points and five assists, while Kevin Jones and Casey Mitchell contributed 14 and 13 points apiece, respectively for West Virginia (1-0), which finished 23-12 overall in 2008-09. The Mountaineers earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament, but lost to Dayton in the first round.
Shane Walker had a team-best 14 points for Loyola-Maryland (1-1), which opened its 100th season of men’s basketball on Friday with a 79-66 win over Vermont. Jamal Barney finished with 11 points.
Butler’s layup in the closing seconds of the first half allowed West Virginia to force a 31-31 tie heading into the break. The Mountaineers then ran off 11 straight to start the second with Bryant bookending the run with a pair of three pointers and a 42-31 lead just over four minutes in.
Loyola was able to get as close as six at 48-42 near the 13 1/2 minute mark after a Julius Brooks dunk, but WVU responded when Butler hit a jumper and a three sandwiched around a Dan Jennings dunk to go ahead by 13. The Greyhounds never threatened the rest of the way.
This was the first-ever meeting between Loyola-Maryland and West Virginia in men’s basketball…Brooks ended with eight points, while Jennings finished with nine points and a game-high 12 boards and three blocks.- Via Sports Network