WVU hoops takes win over George Mason in annual charity exhibition

In WVU men’s basketball first on-court and in-game action of the season, the Mountaineers secured an impressive 85-78 victory over George Mason in the annual charity exhibition on Friday. All proceeds from the game will go to support the WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.

Center Jesse Edwards, a transfer from Syracuse, made a strong impact with two baskets for West Virginia. He showcased his skills with a mid-range jumper and a powerful layup, finishing the game with an impressive 21 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks in his first true on-court action for WVU.

Returning guard Seth Wilson also contributed to the Mountaineers’ strong start by nailing a three-point shot, giving them a 7-0 lead early in the game.

However, George Mason fought back and took a 10-9 lead by sinking seven free throws in the first five minutes. Transfer point guard Kerr Kriisa answered with two three-pointers, including a four-point play, to bring WVU back into the game, tying it at 16-16.

The Patriots’ forward Keyshawn Hall scored nine points in the first half, giving George Mason a 20-16 advantage halfway through the period. The momentum shifted when Iona transfer forward Quinn Slazinski scored nine consecutive points for the Mountaineers, putting them back in the lead at 27-22.

However, George Mason responded with a strong 13-2 run, led by forward Woody Newton and guard Darius Maddox, to go ahead by six at 35-29 with under six minutes remaining in the half.

Despite West Virginia’s efforts to close the gap, the Patriots maintained their lead and ended the first half with a 44-39 advantage. The Mountaineers faced foul trouble with two fouls each for forwards Akok Akok and Jesse Edwards.

The second half started with two consecutive baskets for George Mason, increasing their lead to 53-45. WVU sophomore forward Josiah Harris answered with a three-pointer to keep the Mountaineers in the game.

As the exhibition continued, an unfortunate injury occurred, causing Akok to collapse on the floor. After a 13-minute pause and the necessary medical attention, the game resumed.

West Virginia fought back and came within one point at 57-56, thanks to Jesse Edwards’ contributions. With 10 minutes remaining, WVU freshman forward Ofri Naveh made a game-tying dunk, and Harris sealed the lead with a three-pointer at 64-62.

George Mason responded with a jumper from Ronald Polite III, breaking the tie at 66-66 and giving his team a 69-66 advantage. A flagrant foul against George Mason allowed WVU to regain a narrow lead at 72-71 after successful free throws.

Jesse Edwards led West Virginia’s offense, converting free throws and layups to extend their lead to 80-71 with under two minutes left in the game.

Although George Mason made a late push, West Virginia held their ground and clinched an 85-78 victory in the charity exhibition.

West Virginia men’s basketball will continue their season at home on November 6, facing off against the Missouri State Bears at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+.


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