MORGANTOWN — Sean McNeil hit four 3-pointers in five minutes, two in a 14-0 run when he scored the last eight points, and West Virginia raced past Youngstown State in the second half for an 82-52 win on Wednesday night.
McNeil, who only attempted one shot in the first half, made all four of his 3s and finished with 23 points on 8 of 9 shooting. Taz Sherman added 16 for the Mountaineers (11-1), who have won eight in a row heading into the Big 12 Conference opener at No. 16 Texas on New Year’s Day.
West Virginia was 7 of 10 behind the arc in the second half and shot 72% (18 of 25), and finished 25 of 34 from the foul line for the game.
Chris Shelton scored 13 for the Penguins (7-4), who had their five-game winning streak snapped and became the sixth-straight team West Virginia held below 60 points.
Pauly Paulicap made a layup as time ran out in the first half to put West Virginia up 24-23. The Mountaineers missed all five 3-pointers and shot 23% while Youngstown State went 1 of 8 and shot 33%.
Sherman hit back-to-back 3-pointers as West Virginia went up 31-23 in the first two minutes of the second half. McNeil’s first 3 made it 34-25. Shelton had back-to-back 3s to cut the deficit to 3 but the Mountaineers broke it open.
McNeil’s second 3 made it 43-31 and he followed with two free throws and a 3 for a 48-31 lead at the 13:30 mark.
Youngstown State shot 33% in the second half and had 11 of the 20 turnovers West Virginia turned into 29 points. The Penguins were outscored by 16 at the foul line with two players fouling out and two finishing with four fouls.