West Virginia men's basketball opens Advocare Invitational with win
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Jevon Carter had 20 points, Sagaba Konate added 14 and No. 23 West Virginia survived an upset bid by winless Marist, beating the Red Foxes, 84-78, in the opening round Thursday night at the Advocare Invitational.
Carter hit a key 3-pointer that put West Virginia ahead 70-67 with 5 1⁄2 minutes left after Marist had pulled even on Brian Parker's basket.
The Mountaineers (4-1), who shot 32 percent over the game's first 28 minutes, finished at 35 percent.
Marist (0-4) got 19 points from David Knudsen and 14 more by Parker.
Knudsen hit a pair of 3s that got Marist with 65-62 with 7 minutes to play.
West Virginia, winner of four in a row after a season-opening 88-65 loss to Texas A&M in Germany, did have success in the turnover battle by turning 24 Marist miscues into 26 points. Marist got 11 points off 11 West Virginia turnovers.
The Mountaineers shot just 33 percent (13 of 39), including 15 percent (3 for 20) from 3-point range in a sluggish first half that saw West Virginia take a 39-26 lead.
West Virginia went 8 for 38 (21 percent) from behind the arc overall.
The Mountaineers likely will need to win the invitational to stay in the Top 25, and the championship could help them move up slightly in the rankings.
Over the last 15 years, West Virginia is 137-33 against nonconference opponents. The Mountaineers beat Marist, 87-44, in the only previous meetings between the teams in 2012.
West Virginia has a semifinal matchup Friday night with Central Florida.