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Tre Mitchell leads the way as WVU blows by Florida

Tre Mitchell had 17 points and eight rebounds Sunday night as the West Virginia Mountaineers walloped the Florida Gators 84-55 for fifth place in the Phil Knight Legacy tournament in Portland, Ore.

After the Gators (4-3) trimmed the halftime deficit to eight, West Virginia (6-1) cruised to a 25-7 run in the first seven minutes of the second half on the way to breaking its four-game losing skid against Florida.

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The Mountaineers won for just the fourth time in the 11 all-time meetings between the schools.

South Carolina transfer Erik Stevenson had 15 points on 3-for-4 shooting from distance and seven rebounds. Emmitt Matthews Jr. had 13 points as West Virginia shot 43.3 percent from the field and made 7 of 17 3-pointers.

The Mountaineers held a 49-28 rebound advantage.

In losing for the second time in their three games in the tournament, the Gators got 17 points from St. Bonaventure grad transfer Kyle Lofton. Alex Fudge had six points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Saddled with foul trouble, Florida’s leading scorer Colin Castleton — averaging 20.7 points per game entering Sunday — managed just three points on 1-of-6 shooting with five rebounds.

At 13:44 of the first half with the Mountaineers up 16-12, Florida big man Castleton picked up his second foul and headed to the bench. The Big 12 school took it from there, using their size advantage to break out on runs and lead 26-13 just under three minutes later. Stevenson’s breakaway dunk highlighted the scoring spurt.

Castleton picked up his third foul at 7:56 and replacement Jason Jitoboh also played with three, giving West Virginia an even more sizable advantage in the paint. Jitoboh was assessed his fourth foul at 2:09 after an infraction while setting a screen on the offensive end.

After trailing by as many as 16 shortly after West Virginia’s 10-0 run, the Gators cut into the lead and were down 41-33 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

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