(AP) - In search of his 700th coaching victory, West
Virginia's Bob Huggins found good fortune Thursday night in Las
His Mountaineers barely forced overtime, then survived in the
final seconds of overtime to edge Missouri State 70-68 in the Las
With West Virginia trailing by three near the end of regulation,
freshman Gary Browne hit a desperation fall-away 3-pointer with 1.6
seconds left to force overtime after the Mountaineers had trailed
by 10 with 8 minutes left.
Then, with the Mountaineers leading by two with 2 seconds left
in overtime, Missouri State's Nathan Scheer missed an open runner.
That allowed Huggins to escape with the milestone win.
"It means I have been at this a long time," said Huggins, who
is 20th on the all-time wins list and trails Don Haskins by 19.
"Doing this for 30 years, if you don't win, you're going to
fire yourself. I don't think about those things. Try to win every
game and do your job. Hopefully, we're competitive."
Kevin Jones had 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead West Virginia
(9-2). Darryl Bryant added 15 points, Aaron Brown 14 and Browne 13.
"Gary Browne made some big shots for us, even though he is a
freshman," Jones said.
Browne's basket with 1:07 left in overtime gave West Virginia
the lead for good at 69-68. Bryant later hit a free throw with 21
seconds left. Then Scheer missed his shot.
"We had the shot we wanted, but Scheer missed the layup,"
Missouri State coach Paul Lusk said. "West Virginia plays such
great defense that you can't run sets against them."
Caleb Patterson led the Bears (7-4) with 18 points. Kyle Weems
had 15 points and six rebounds, while Jarmar Gulley had 11 points.
Michael Bizoukas had 10 assists for the Bears, who shot 54 percent.
Both teams have one game left in the Classic. West Virginia
plays No. 6 Baylor on Friday, while Missouri State plays Saint
"(Baylor is) extremely talented," Huggins said. "I have a
6-11 freshman (Pat Forsythe) that's not going to play."
Forsythe injured his ankle in the second half.
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
There were 12 lead changes and six ties in the game.
Each team has history at the Classic. West Virginia appeared in
2008. The Mountaineers defeated Iowa 87-68 before losing to
Kentucky in the championship game 54-43.
This is Missouri State's third appearance. The Bears played in
the inaugural Classic in 2001 and lost three of four games. In
2008, Missouri State went 2-2 but lost both games at the Orleans
This was Huggins' fifth appearance at a Las Vegas tournament in
the last 10 years. He coached Cincinnati twice, Kansas State once
and now West Virginia twice.