“That’s the neat thing about a tournament like this,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “Three games in three days with three different styles of play, three different styles of coaching.”
Culver rebounded from a seven-point game Wednesday night in the Mountaineers’ opening victory over South Dakota State, finishing two shy of his career high. He was 8 of 14 from the field.
Sean McNeil added 16 points, and Oscar Tshiebwe had 11 points and 16 rebounds.
Nah’Shon Hyland led the Rams (1-1) with 13 points.
VCU missed its first nine shots, finally scoring on a goaltending call midway through the first half. The Rams rallied with a full-court press and cut it to two with five minutes left in the half.
West Virginia had 21 turnovers.
“We would have done a much better job if we would have time to prepare,” Huggins said. “We haven’t worked on a press breaker. We will, obviously. We’re still awfully young. We’re not quite as seasoned as some of the other people are.”
West Virginia led by nine at the break. After the Rams cut it to three early in the second half, the Mountaineers opened a 16-point lead.
West Virginia’s length on the inside was again a factor. The Mountaineers had 23 offensive rebounds and scored 25 second-half points. They had 17 offensive rebounds and 18 second-chance points in their opener over South Dakota State.
West Virginia: Vs. Western Kentucky in championship game Friday.