MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP)—West Virginia’s Aaric Murray came back from a one-game suspension with a double-double Wednesday night as the Mountaineers defeated Oakland 76-71 to end a two-game losing streak.
Murray, who was left home for disciplinary reasons from the Mountaineers’ 81-66 loss to No. 2 Michigan last Saturday in Brooklyn, N.Y., came back to score 12 points, pull down 10 rebounds and block five shots.
Juwan Staten added 11 points for the Mountaineers (5-5), and Keaton Miles and Terry Henderson pitched in 10 apiece.
West Virginia’s victory ruined an outstanding night by Travis Bader, who led the nation in 3-pointers made with 42 entering the game. He finished with a game-high 25 points, including 6 of 12 from beyond the line.
Oakland (4-8) also got double-figures scoring from Drew Valentine (15 points), Corey Petros (14) and Duke Mondy 10. The Golden Grizzlies have played BCS schools Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Tennessee and West Virginia on the road this season and lost to all four.
West Virginia led 66-57 after a 3-pointer by Eron Harris with 7:44 remaining. That was one of eight triples made by the Mountaineers, who shot a season-best 52.9 percent from the field (27 of 51).
But Oakland came back on 3-point shots to pull within 68-66 with 5:34 to go. The Grizzlies made 10 of 19 from 3-point range, including two during that 9-2 run. The first was a 30-footer by Bader, who reached double figures for the 11th time in 12 games.
Oakland, which tired in the second half, fell behind partially because Bader, who was averaging 19.6 points per game entering the contest, missed 2 minutes, 20 seconds of the second half after incurring his fourth foul. He re-entered with his team trailing by seven at 9:42.
West Virginia led 71-68 when Murray hit the second of two free throws with 3:58 showing.
Bader missed from deep, then knocked down another 30-footer that tied the game at 71 with 2:30 remaining.
After West Virginia coach Bob Huggins called a timeout, guard Gary Browne’s floater beat the shot clock buzzer to give the Mountaineers the points they would need with 51 seconds to go.
Murray finished the game with two rebounds and three free throws to ice it.
West Virginia has defeated 44 nonconference opponents in its last 45 games at the Coliseum.