Carter scores 29 points, West Virginia beats Missouri 83-79
By MARK DIDTLER, Associated Press
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — West Virginia had a wild weekend in Florida that ended up with a three-game sweep.
Jevon Carter scored 29 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute, and the No. 23 Mountaineers overcame a 16-point, second-half deficit to beat Missouri 83-79 on Sunday night in the Advocare Invitational championship game.
“I just told them no matter how much time is left on the clock, just believe we can win this game,” Carter said.
Daxter Miles Jr. added 26 points, including four late free throws, for West Virginia (6-1).
“We tried a lot of stuff,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “We played 1-3-1 for a little bit, then we tried to push up and that didn’t work. So I just said, let’s just go out and do what we do. Let’s go out and play as hard as we possibly can and let the chips fall where they may.”
West Virginia was involved in three distinctly different games at the tourney. After surviving an upset challenge against winless Marist 84-78 on Thursday, the Mountaineers routed Central Florida 83-45 on Friday.
Missouri (5-2) got 21 points from Jordan Barnett. Kassius Robertson and Kevin Puryear each had 13.
“We just kept thinking, we got to find a way,” Barnett said. “We can’t quit, we can’t give up. Build such a big lead and it all goes away so fast. This one hurts.”
Barnett hit a jumper and added 3 as Missouri went up 55-41 five minutes into the second half.
West Virginia, keyed by a number of forced turnovers, put together a late 12-0 run that was concluded by Miles steal and layup to get within 73-72 with 3 minutes left.
Robertson had 10 points to help Missouri take a 41-36 halftime advantage.
West Virginia could move up slightly in the AP poll. The Mountaineers have been ranked 38 consecutive weeks, and 55 of the last 58.
Missouri: The Tigers seem to be making progress in adjusting with standout freshman Michael Porter out for season after back surgery.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers have won six in a row since a season-opening 88-65 loss to Texas A&M in Germany.
West Virginia was called for 74 fouls over the three-game invitational, including 21 Sunday.
Carter averaged 21.7 points in the tourney. His four steals Sunday moved him within three of the West Virginia career record.
The Tigers turned the ball over 20 times that resulted 25 West Virginia points. Missouri scored six points on eight Mountaineers’ turnovers.
Villanova highlights the 2018 field at the Advocare Invitational. Joining the Wildcats are Charleston, Florida State, LSU, Memphis, Oklahoma State and UAB. An eighth team will be announced at a later date.
Missouri: At Central Florida on Thursday night.
West Virginia: Hosts NJIT on Thursday night.