CANCUN, MEXICO—The West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1) used .560 shooting led by 19 points from Eron Harris to defeat the ODU Monarchs (4-2), 78-60 in the Cancun Challenge at the Hard Rock Resort-Riviera Maya. The Monarchs will play Saint Louis Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
ODU will play the Billikens of Saint Louis (5-1) for third place as they lost to Wisconsin, 64-57. This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.
The loss snapped the Monarchs four-game winning streak. Sophomore guard Aaron Bacote led ODU with 20 points and a career high nine rebounds.
WVU led 22-9 with 8:49 left in the first half, but the Monarchs rallied to cut the lead to three, 26-23 on a three-pointer by red-shirt freshman guard Ambrose Mosley. The Mountaineers then got a three-pointer from Terry Henderson and a basket by Juwan Staten to push the lead to eight at 31-23 with 1:23 left. After Keenan Palmore hit one of two free throws to cut it to seven, Staten hit another trey and Eron Harris followed with a basket with three seconds left to give WVU a 36-24 halftime lead.
The Mountaineers shot .50 (13-26) from the field in the first half, while ODU shot .333 (9-27) and the Monarchs were .333 (3-13) from the free throw line.
In the second half, WVU shot .625 (15-24) from the floor and finished the game at .560 (28-50).
Besides Bacote’s 20 points, red-shirt junior guard Dimitri Batten added 14. The Monarchs outrebounded West Virginia, 35-28 with Bacote hauling down nine and sophomore Keenan Palmore grabbing six. ODU also came up with eight steals led by freshman Jordan Baker and Keenan Palmore with three each.
The Mountaineers had four players in double figures. Joining Harris were Terry Henderson with 14, Juwan Staten with 13, and Devin Williams with 12. Williams also hauled down a game high ten rebounds.