West Virginia looks to begin another winning streak Thursday night as the Mountaineers return home to face Austin Peay of the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Mountaineers (7-1) suffered their first loss of the season Saturday in a 70-68 loss at St. John’s in Madison Square Garden in New York. Austin Peay (4-4) currently ranks 160th in RPI. West Virginia is currently ranked third nationally in RPI.
Austin Peay is led by impressive junior guard Terry Taylor (6-foot-5). Taylor averages near a double-double, leading the Governors in scoring (22.5 points per game) and rebounds (9.1 rpg). Taylor is shooting a solid 57.4 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Depth figures to be an issue for Austin Peay against WVU. Four Governors players average more than 28 minutes a game, led by Taylor’s 35-plus minutes played per contest. For West Virginia, only Emmitt Mathews Jr. averages 28 minutes of floor time. WVU often goes 12 players deep, with 10 Mountaineers average double-figure minutes per contest.
Freshman guard Jordyn Adams is the only other Governor to average double-figure scoring, tallying 15 ppg. Four Mountaineers average in double figures, led by freshman forward Oscsar Tshiewbe’s 11.8 ppg. Sophomore forward Derek Culver paces WVU on the glass with 9.4 rpg and averages 11.4 ppg.
WVU is the third Power 6 Conference team the Governors have faced this year. They are 0-2 against their previous two Power 6 foes, losing to a pair of SEC opponents. Austin Peay fell to Arkansas, 69-61, and Vanderbilt, 90-72, earlier this year. Austin Peay hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2016.
West Virginia is a 15 ½ point favorite.