Texas A&M vs West Virginia

Butler takes control late, leads West Virginia over pesky Aggies


ANAHEIM, Calif. -- De'Sean Butler stopped rushing his shot, stepped up his intensity and helped No. 8 West Virginia remain undefeated.

Butler scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half to lead the Mountaineers to a 73-66 victory over Texas A&M in the 76 Classic on Friday at the Anaheim Convention Center.

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Butler added five assists and five rebounds for West Virginia (4-0), which advanced to Sunday's tournament final against either No. 22 Minnesota or Portland.

"Butler took over the game and made some big 3-point shots," said Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon, who also praised the senior's defense. "Their half-court defense was the difference in the game. It got real physical in the second half and we didn't respond well. I thought Butler was the main reason for that."

Butler said his performance reflected a changed attitude.

"In the first half, I played a little bit too fast," he said. "In the second half, I slowed down and I was a little more enthusiastic on defense, which kind of made me more eager to play offense."

With the score at 44-all, Butler scored 10 points during a 12-1 surge that gave West Virginia a 56-45 lead with 11:47 to play.

Texas A&M (5-1), which held a four-point lead in the first half, used a 6-0 run to narrow the deficit to 67-63 with 1:08 left.

But after Butler converted a free throw, West Virginia's Devin Ebanks stole the ball, got fouled on a slam dunk and made the ensuing free throw to extend the lead to 71-63 with 42.9 seconds left.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said despite the win his team can play better.

"We're not near where we need to be," said Huggins. "When we made our run, we had five veterans on the floor. We've got to have five guys doing the same thing, which we didn't have today."

Ebanks came off the bench to get 14 points and nine rebounds, and Darryl Bryant scored 12 points.

B.J. Holmes and Donald Sloan each scored 18 points for the Aggies. Bryan Davis added a season-high 10 rebounds.

The Mountaineers shot 51.1 percent for the game, 61.9 percent in the second half.

The Aggies committed 16 turnovers and missed 13 of 31 free throws, including eight of 17 in the second half.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
De'Sean Butler, who attempts a shot here, scores 15 of his 17 points in the second half. (AP)
De'Sean Butler, who attempts a shot here, scores 15 of his 17 points in the second half. (AP)
Texas A&M (4-1)343266
West Virginia #8 (4-0) «324173
TXAM:Donald Sloan 18 Pts
TXAM:Bryan Davis 10 Reb
TXAM:Donald Sloan 2 Ast
WV:Da'Sean Butler 17 Pts
WV:Devin Ebanks 9 Reb
WV:Da'Sean Butler 5 Ast

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West VirginiaTexas A&M
Da'Sean Butler
Donald Sloan
Texas A&M Aggies
D. Sloan, G316-116-832318
D. Roland, G243-92-23148
B. Davis, F242-62-810056
D. Harris, G221-10-16222
N. Walkup, F214-61-21019
D. Loubeau, F251-51-31023
B. Holmes, G255-96-730318
N. Hibbert, G201-30-03122
K. Middleton, F80-00-00030
A. Darko, GDid Not Play
D. Lewis, GDid Not Play
C. Chapman, GDid Not Play
M. Carrell, FDid Not Play
S. Schepel, GDid Not Play
J. Blasczyk, CDid Not Play
R. Turner, FDid Not Play
J. Adams, GDid Not Play
Totals 23-5018-313062566
West Virginia Mountaineers
D. Bryant, G344-84-504212
D. Butler, F325-115-655317
K. Jones, F294-61-250211
W. Smith, F192-20-01346
C. Mitchell, G171-90-01012
D. Ebanks, F294-65-590214
C. Thoroughman, F150-02-31042
J. Flowers, F101-10-01342
D. Pepper, G72-30-00105
J. Mazzulla, G61-10-10122
D. Jennings, F20-00-00010
D. Kilicli, FDid Not Play
B. Lowther, GDid Not Play
C. Payne, GDid Not Play
K. Ross, GDid Not Play
J. West, GDid Not Play
Totals 24-4717-2223172473
Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Kansas St.0-04-0105
Texas Tech0-04-027
Oklahoma St.0-04-1146
W. Virginia0-03-156
Iowa St.0-03-264

Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Seton Hall0-04-037
St. Johns0-04-034
Other games
MU 79 Final
Michigan 65
UConn 59 Final
CLEM 87 Final
LB St 79
CLMB 60 Final
Syracuse 85
C of Char 69 Final
Tenn 86
TNTC 75 Final
Kansas 112
Florida 77 Final
Mich St 74
Nwstern 72 Final
ND 58
PORT 61 Final
Minn 56
Utah 60 Final
Illinois 58
UCLA 67 Final
Butler 69