Overtime for No. 700
LAS VEGAS - West Virginia coach Bob Huggins picked up his 700th career victory Thursday night as the Mountaineers defeated Missouri State 70-68 in overtime at the Las Vegas Classic.
Trailing 63-60 late in regulation, WVU's Gary Browne hit a fall-away 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left to force overtime. It was the only 3-pointer of the game for Browne, who finished with 13 points.
Kevin Jones had 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead West Virginia (9-2). Darryl Bryant added 15 points and Aaron Brown had 14 for the Mountaineers (9-2).
Huggins took the milestone victory in stride.
"I have been at this a long time," he said. "Do this for 30 years and if you don't win you are going to fire yourself. I don't think about those things. I honestly don't. Try to win every game and do your job."
Caleb Patterson led the Bears (7-4) with 18 points.
Also for Missouri State, Kyle Weems had 15 points and six rebounds, while Jarmar Gulley had 11 points. Michael Bizoukas had 10 assists for the Bears, who hit 54 percent.
With 44 seconds remaining in regulation, Browne hit a 6-foot floater in the lane to bring the Mountaineers to within three. After a defensive stop, the stage was set for Browne, who then hit a 3 with 1.6 seconds left to tie the contest at 63.
Trailing by two with 2 seconds left in overtime, Missouri State's Nathan Scheer put up a shot in the lane, but it bounced around the rim and out.
Both teams have one game left in the Classic. West Virginia plays No. 6 Baylor at 9 tonight, while Missouri State plays Saint Mary's.
The Mountaineers outrebounded Missouri State 40-27 and outscored the Bears in second-chance points 16-2.
After a 32-32 halftime tie, the Bears opened the second half on a 10-4 run and built their largest lead at 55-45 with 8:34 remaining. West Virginia drew within 59-55 on Bryant's 3-pointer with 6:00 remaining.
West Virginia later had a chance to tie, but Scheer stole a pass and drove for a layup with 1:02 left for a 63-58 Missouri State lead.