Outside of one blemish on its resume, West Virginia is good to another solid start this season. The Mountaineers are 6-1, and are coming off a 29-point beat down of Florida in the final game of the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament.
WVU now plays its second true road game of the year, as Hall of Fame head coach Bob Huggins takes on a former rival program in Xavier.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game:
WVU at Xavier hoops game information
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022
- Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
- TV Channel: Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
- Stream: Fox Sports Live
- Radio: Find your affiliate of the Mountaineer Sports Network
- Series history: Tied 1-1 since 1980
- Last meeting: Xavier 79, West Virginia 75 in OT Phoenix, Arizona in 2008 (NCAA Tournament)
WVU at Xavier matchup preview
If not for turning the ball over 13 times and a 5-minute scoring drought in the second half, West Virginia’s performance versus Florida would’ve been even more dominant. The Mountaineers routed the Gators in Portland, easily winning the fifth-place game at the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament by 29 points.
West Virginia has won at least six of its first seven games for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.
Xavier was also playing at the PK Legacy Tournament last week. The Musketeers finished in fourth place, winning its opening game against Florida by seven points, but then losing to nationally ranked Duke and Gonzaga squads.
Four Mountaineers are averaging double figures in scoring, led by Erik Stevenson’s 14.1 points per game. Fellow starters Tre Mitchell (12.6) and Emmitt Matthews Jr. (10.1), and backup point guard Joe Toussaint (11.1) join Stevenson in that regard.
West Virginia’s depth, one of the biggest strengths of the team, will test the Musketeers, who do not appear to have as much of it.
Xavier starters combine for 72.74 points per contest, which is nearly 90 percent of the Musketeers’ scoring output. Former longtime Arizona head coach Sean Miller is in charge of the Xavier program this year. His leading scorer is senior forward Jack Nunge, who is listed as a 7-footer.
Only seven players in Miller’s rotation average more than 10 minutes played per game. However, Huggins has 10 players averaging at least 12 minutes of playing time per contest.
WVU has now played more than half of its games away from home this year, but Saturday’s contest will be just their second true road game of the season. WVU won its first in dominant fashion, beating Pitt by 25 points in the latest edition of the Backyard Brawl.
The 2008 Sweet Sixteen was the last time WVU and Xavier matched up on the hardwood. That game required more than regulation to be decided. Despite 58 combined points from Joe Alexander, Da’Sean Butler, Alex Ruoff, and Joe Mazzulla, the Mountaineers came up short in overtime, and just missed out on a trip to the Elite Eight.