Throwback Thursday: Jerry West helps WVU beat Pitt 71-74 in 1958

Throwback Thursday: Jerry West helps WVU beat Pitt 71-74 in 1958

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Charleston Gazette, Thurs., Jan 16, 1958

Jerry West Paces 13th Win in Row

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 15–(AP)–Proving once again that they can come from behind, West Virginia’s basketball team bid to retain its No. 1 national rating tonight with a solid 71-64 win over stubborn Pitt and sharpshooting Don Hennon.

   The Mountaineers trailed from the opening scores until four minutes had elapsed in the second half.

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   THEY WENT ahead to stay at 38-37 after 7:36 of the period on a goal by sophomore Jerry West, whose 23 points were second to Hennon’s 29 for scoring honors.

   From that point, West Virginia pulled out to a 54-45 lead before Pitt’s comeback made it 54-51 with 5:21 left. It was 56-55 two minutes later before Don Vincent sank a pair of free throws. Then 6-10 Lloyd Sharrar who dominated both backboards, grabbed a rebound and banked in a vital field goal to cinch the decision.

   It was unbeaten West Virginia’s 13th victory and left Pitt with a 7-5 record.

   The victory tied a consecutive win record for West Virginia teams. The 1946 WVU squad, on which the Mountaineers present coach Fred Schaus was a star, also won 13 in a row.

   West Virginia will try for its 14th straight victory Jan. 23 when the Mounties travel to Charlotte, N.C., to play Furman in a Southern Conference game.

   Only the blazing shooting of Hennon, who holed out 11 field goals and every one of his seven free throws, kept the Panthers in the game.

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   THROUGH THE first half which Pitt dominated until the closing minutes, Vincent’s sharpshooting, good for five field goals from the outside, kept the Mountaineers going.

   At one point Pitt was in front 18-7 but in the closing minutes West Virginia began to pull up and it was Pitt 29, West Virginia 28 at halftime as the Mountaineers held the ball for the final minute for a field goal try that missed the mark.

   A capacity crowd of 5,168 at Pitt field house saw Pitt go ahead at 37-36 on a free throw by Julius Pegues before a shoddy Pitt pass let West Virginia get away for a layup goal and the Mountaineers were in front to stay. They pulled out quickly from there to build a nine-point margin within the next 2 1/2 minutes before Pitt rallied again.

* * *

WEST VIRGINIA’S scoring was once again a well-balanced affair with Sharrar’s 21 points second to West. Vincent accounted for 14. Only Joey Gardner of the Mountaineer was unable to score. Dave Sawyer’s 11 points was second to Hannon on the Pitt side.

   West Virginia came up with a combination zone and man-to-man defense that had Sharrar clogging the keyhole and and two guards on the corners while the other two defendants chased Pitt players, mostly Hennon.

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