Stephen F. Austin upsets West Virginia in Round of 64
Stephen F. Austin (28-5) added to the list of huge upsets on Friday with a 70-56 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers (26-9). Senior forward Thomas Walkup led the Lumberjacks with 33 points and 9 rebounds as the 14-seed took down the 3-seed in the East Region.
West Virginia struggled with the quick, physical defense of Stephen F Austin a majority of the game. The Lumberjacks forced 22 Mountaineer turnovers and changed the course of the game by capitalizing off of them.
The real shining star of the night was SFA’s Thomas Walkup. The senior forward joined Kentucky’s Brandon Knight as the only players with 30 points against WVU in the NCAA Tournament. Walkup shot 19 of 20 from the free throw line and hit two 3’s late in the game to finish off the Mountaineers.
It was an upsetting end to a great season for West Virginia. The Mountaineers were coming off of a second place finish in the Big 12 and were picked by many experts to make a deep run in the tourney. Instead, WVU fell before their long tournament campaign began. West Virginia’s press only worked a minimal amount against SF Austin, forcing 7 turnovers compared to their average of 18.
Both teams had a very hard time shooting against the tight defenses. WVU shot 30.8% from the field, while SF Austin hit 30.9% of their shots (not much of a difference there). In a game with 53 total fouls called, each team held their own from the free throw line. The Mountaineers hit 21 of 27 to go 78% from the line, and the Lumberjacks went 29 of 39, a slightly lower 74.4%.
SF Austin extended its nations-longest win streak to 21 games. The Lumberjacks will play the winner of the 6 Notre Dame/11 Michigan game on Sunday.
Casey Mosrie covers NCAAB for MyFantasySportsTalk.com | Twitter @WxMozz