West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Pick & Prediction JANUARY 31st 2024

West Virginia hopes to regain the form it displayed in its last home game when it hosts Cincinnati in a Big 12 matchup Wednesday night in Morgantown, W.Va.

The Mountaineers (7-13, 2-5 Big 12) have dropped road games to UCF and Oklahoma State since upsetting then-No. 3 Kansas 91-85 at home on Jan. 20.

They faltered down the stretch of their 70-66 loss to the last-place Cowboys to remain winless in their four true road games. They had a two-point lead entering the final minute but gave up that advantage when the Cowboys finished on a 6-0 run.

“It’s a tough one to lose,” West Virginia coach Josh Eilert said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow considering we battled down the stretch and they made some winning plays and there were a couple of difference makers in calls down the stretch.”

Even getting back veteran Jesse Edwards, their No. 2 scorer (13.8 ppg), didn’t help. In his first action since injuring his wrist in mid-December, the Syracuse transfer scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in 16 minutes.

Leading scorer RaeQuan Battle (16.3) scored only two points, giving him a combined total of seven in the two games.

“He needs to be more efficient and make better decisions for us,” Eilert said.

The Bearcats (14-6, 3-4 Big 12), in their first season in the Big 12, are coming off a 68-57 win over UCF in which they overcame a 12-point halftime deficit despite the absence of leading scorer and rebounder Viktor Lakhin (12.7 points, 7.5 rebounds), who was out with an illness.

“I’m disappointed in our first half,” coach Wes Miller said, “but I am obviously very impressed with how we came out in the second half.”

This will be the first meeting between the two teams as Big 12 colleagues, but both once were members of the Big East. West Virginia has won the last four meetings to tie the series at 10-10.

–Field Level Media

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