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West Virginia 98, Miami 84

January 11, 1998

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) _ Damian Owens scored 20 points Saturday night as No. 25 West Virginia overpowered Miami 98-84 to hand to the Hurricanes their first Big East loss of the season.

Greg Jones and Adrian Pledger each added 17 points as the Mountaineers (14-2, 4-2) cut through the Hurricanes, who entered the game with the nation’s best field goal percentage defense.

Miami (12-2, 5-1) ended five-game winning streaks on the road and in the Big East this season.

West Virginia led by as many as 27 points against Miami, who went into the game on the verge of its first national ranking in 37 years after beating No. 8 Connecticut 76-67 earlier in the week.

The Mountaineers, who are the league’s best in scoring (86.2 points) and shooting (48 percent), were outshot 44.3 percent-41.6 percent, but the Mountaineers led in steals (14-7) and rebounds (53-45).

Tim James led the Hurricanes with 26 points, while Johnny Hemsley added 15 and Elton Tyler 11.

Marcus Goree had 11 points for West Virginia and Jarrod West added 10.

Miami starter Lucas Barnes limped off the court 29 seconds into the game. Barnes re-entered the game later in the first half, but appeared to aggravate his injury later.

He finished with four points before going to the hospital to have his ankle examined, team officials said.

The Mountaineers, who are 10-0 when leading at halftime, were up 50-33 at the break.

The season’s biggest crowd, 13,829, was not a big factor before Pledger and Goree dunked in an eight-second span in the first half. Goree made his foul shot for a 39-21 lead with 4:55 left.

It became heated less than a minute later when James was fouled trying to go to the boards against Brian Solheim and Jones. James pushed Solheim, but there was no technical foul called despite West Virginia coach Gale Catlett’s protest.