BECKLEY, W. Va. — A 12-3 West Virginia Tech surge in a span of about three minutes made the difference in an NAIA Top 25 clash with No. 16 USF falling to No. 13 WVT 85-73 on Tuesday night.
That 12-3 surge pushed the Golden Bears’ lead from 16-12 at 15:37 to 28-15 with 12:26 to play in the first half. The 3-3 Cougars did claw back as close as four points, 39-35, with an Austin Compton three-point play with 1:23 to play in the first half, but Brandon Shingles countered with a 3-pointer for WVT with 16 seconds to play finishing first-half scoring for a 42-35 Golden Bears lead.
USF was still as close as six, 51-45, with 16:54 to play after a Hunter Hollowell 3-pointer. From that point, WVT took charge with an 8-0 run that opened up a 59-45 advantage with 15:52 to play. The Cougars only cut the deficit to single digits once in the time remaining. Chandler White, who led USF scoring with 18 points, hit the first of two free throws cutting the USF deficit to nine, 72-63, with 6:19 to play.
The two teams pretty much traded points the rest of the way.
It was the second consecutive setback for USF while WVT won for the fourth time in five games bouncing back from a 121-117 double overtime loss on Saturday to Berkeley College (N.Y.).
White scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half and the senior led USF in assists with six. Hollowell finished with 15 points including a 5-for-7 night from 3-point range. Compton finished with 14 points. Freshman Brandan Johnson led USF rebounding with nine while White and David Miller added seven boards apiece helping USF to a 40-37 edge on the glass.
The Golden Bears outscored USF 43-38 in the second half including 9-for-10 shooting at the free-throw line.