Behind a 29-point performance from Taz Sherman, West Virginia defeated Akron 74-59 in Friday’s exhibition at the WVU Coliseum.
The fifth-year guard was the main factor in a strong first half for the Mountaineers, tallying seven points in the first five minutes. The ball was in his hands on almost every possession he was on the floor.
West Virginia rushed off to a hot start, building a lead as large as 14 during the game’s first 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Zips struggled to win battles anywhere on the floor. Scoring droughts damaged them offensively, while an inability to stop the Mountaineers’ playmakers ultimately built a WVU lead that grew and grew.
Ultimately, West Virginia’s advantage peaked at 20, and the Mountaineers entered halftime with a 39-24 lead.
Sherman continued his magic in the second half and West Virginia continued to pile on. Guard Sean McNeil also became a factor, scoring eight second-half points, as the Mountaineers continued to drag the Zips.
Zips guard K.J. Walton did his best to help get his team back into the game, but the Mountaineers’ lead was unsurmountable. After reaching a game-high 32 points, West Virginia would go on to emerge with the 74-59 win.
Of Sherman’s 29 points, 20 of them were scored in the first half alone.
Making only one basket in the first half, McNeil would go on to end the night with 10 points.
Dimon Carrigan was the first player off the bench for the Mountaineers. He finished with five points and six rebounds.
Carrigan led the Mountaineers in rebounding, while Jalen Bridges followed him with five.
Freshmen James Okonkwo and Seth Wilson were the only rostered players not to see game action.
West Virginia opens the regular season on Nov. 9 as the Mountaineers host Oakland. The 7 p.m. tipoff will be broadcast on ESPN+.