Murray leads West Virginia past Radford
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Aaric Murray scored 23 points, a career high in a West Virginia uniform, and the Mountaineers defeated Radford, 72-62, for their second straight nonconference victory Saturday.
The 6-foot-10 junior, who transferred from La Salle, also had eight rebounds, four assists and three steals for his second solid outing in a row since missing West Virginia's 81-66 loss to No. 3 Michigan on Dec. 15 because of disciplinary reasons. The previous week, he had been named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week.
Since the Michigan game, Murray has 35 points, 18 rebounds, eight assists and six blocks.
At La Salle, where Murray played two years before sitting out the 2011-12 season because of NCAA rules, his career high was 28 points.
Dominique Rutledge came off the bench for the Mountaineers (6-5) to contribute eight rebounds in 22 minutes.
Javonte Green had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Radford (5-7), which has lost four straight. Blake Smith chipped in 13 points and five rebounds. The Highlanders are 0-5 against West Virginia.
Radford coach Mike Jones was an assistant at West Virginia in 2002-03.
The Highlanders were playing without leading scorer R.J. Price (13.1 points per game), who sat out the contest with a sprained ankle.
The Mountaineers' 1-3-1 zone defense forced five straight turnovers in the second half, which West Virginia turned into seven consecutive points.
The defensive show got the West Virginia faithful buzzing for the first time in a game that included 31 turnovers and 47 personal fouls.
The seven-point spell actually was part of a 24-13 streak the Mountaineers put on the Highlanders in the last 9:11. During that span, a Radford team that seemed to wear down in the face of a bigger, stronger home squad, knocked down just four baskets.
Radford once held a three-point lead, and the game was tied with 4:10 remaining in the first half.