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NCAA Tournament First Round: Murray State can’t get over the hump against West Virginia

It’ll be an all-West Virginia Second Round game in San Diego

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-West Virginia vs Murrary State Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia was able to keep Murray State just far enough away to coast to an 85-68 win in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament Friday afternoon in San Diego.

Murray State phenom and Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year Jonathan Stark struggled all afternoon, shooting just 1-12 from the field and 1-10 from three. He scored just nine points in a season in which he averaged 21.8.

On the other end, there was Jevon Carter, who was, simply, brilliant. He had 21 points to go with eight assists, five rebounds, and six steals.

Murray State led just once, at 9-8 eight minutes in, before the Mountaineers went on an 8-0 run, building a nine-point lead at halftime. In the second half, the Racers never got closer than five.

Defensively, the Mountaineers did what they do best, forcing 16 Racer turnovers while taking care of the ball themselves.

Terrell Miller Jr. put on a show in the loss, scoring a season-high 27 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in his final game.

West Virginia’s win sets up a same-state showdown between West Virginia and Marshall on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.