MORGANTOWN -- After suffering its first loss of the season, West Virginia University returns to action tonight when it takes on Florida International from the Sun Belt Conference. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
The Golden Panthers (4-3) will be looking to end a two-game losing streak. Following three consecutive victories, FIU lost consecutive road games to Auburn and most recently Miami (77-59). The Mountaineers lost at James Madison, 91-75, Wednesday, allowing the Dukes to shoot 12 of 20 from behind the 3-point line and being outrebounded, 44-29.
Freshman point guard Jonathan Hargett scored 24 in the loss and continues to lead WVU in scoring (18.8 ppg.) and assists (5.8 apg.). Senior forward Chris Moss (17.4 ppg., 8.0 rpg.) and center John Oliver (2.6 ppg., 1.6 rpg.) make up the frontcourt after Mountaineers' coach Gale Catlett gave freshman guard Drew Schifino (10.8 ppg.) his first start of the season.
Shooting guard Lionel Armstead (12.2 ppg.) was held to just five points Wednesday after shooting seven of seven from behind the 3-point line last Saturday in a win over Arkansas-Monticello.
Former Philip Barbour standout Josh Yeager is the Mountaineers' biggest threat off the bench. The junior forward is averaging 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds after starting the first four games of the season.
Florida International is led by freshman forward Terrance Johnson (15.3 ppg., 5.7 rpg.), while Rodrigo Viegas is next at 11.7 ppg. Chris Carter (6.1 ppg., 4.0 rpg.), Nikola Novakovic (4.4 ppg.) and Carlos Morban (8.3 ppg.) will likely round out the Golden Panthers' starters. John Boney is averaging 7.8 points and four rebounds in five games, as well.
The Mountaineers return to action Dec. 15 in another nonconference game against Robert Morris.