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While the Cowboys got solid scoring efforts from the likes of Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash, defense powered the team to victory on Saturday. By holding the Mountaineers to just 57 points, it was their best defensive effort since limiting Texas Tech to 45 points on Jan. 19.
West Virginia struggled from the field throughout the game, shooting just 4-of-21 from 3-point range and 30 percent overall. The Mountaineers were able to get to the free-throw line, making 21-of-26 shots from the charity stripe, but there just weren't many easy baskets to be had.
Brown and Nash led all scorers with 16 points apiece. Brian Williams gave the Cowboys a boost off the bench with his hot shooting, scoring 13 points on eight shots.
Star point guard Marcus Smart was quiet early after getting into some foul trouble, but finished the game with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting, four assists, three steals and two rebounds. The freshman played just three minutes in the first half, but was a difference-maker in the second half, recording all of his points, assists and steals in the period.
The Mountaineers didn't have a single starter score in double-digits, though two of their reserves did. Aaric Murray led West Virginia in scoring with 11 points and Matt Humphrey was right behind with 10.
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