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West Virginia hopes to turn things around against Toledo


After a stunning loss just a few days ago, West Virginia will dust itself off for a Saturday afternoon clash against Toledo in Morgantown, W.Va.

The Mountaineers (4-7) are still reeling from their 66-65 loss to Radford on Wednesday, when they led by five multiple times in the second half, only to give up a game-winning basket in the dying seconds.

The defeat gives West Virginia back-to-back losses for the third time this season, and they are at risk of losing three in a row for the first time since last February.

One positive from the loss was the long-awaited debut of RaeQuan Battle. After fighting the NCAA and the flu, the fifth-year transfer from Montana State led all players with 29 points.

The Mountaineers continue to get worked over in the paint. They have been outrebounded in each of their last four games, and things look even bleaker with star center Jesse Edwards out four weeks with a wrist injury.

Head coach Josh Eilert says someone on his team needs to step up on the boards.

“We continue to say over and over, Jesse is out of the equation now,” Eilert said. “He was our leading rebounder and one through five has got to check their man and get it done.”

The Rockets (6-5) are coming off a blowout loss to Vermont, 86-60, on Wednesday, snapping Toledo’s three-game win streak.

Head coach Tod Kowalczyk is expecting a much better effort from his team on Saturday.

“It’s been an awfully long time since we had our tails whupped and humbled like we were (on Wednesday),” Kowalczyk said. “We’re used to winning and will certainly bounce back … and learn from (the loss).”

The Rockets are off to their slowest start in four years, but what they have lacked in terms of win total, they have made up for in grit. Nine of their 11 games have been decided by single digits.

Two junior guards lead Toledo’s offense. Dante Maddox Jr. and Ra’Heim Moss have both averaged 15.1 points per game.

–Field Level Media

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