RaeQuan Battle scores 24 in West Virginia's 77-67 win over UCF

Published Feb. 20, 2024 9:31 p.m. ET

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — RaeQuan Battle scored 24 points and West Virginia never trailed in a 77-67 win over UCF on Tuesday night.

Jesse Edwards added 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Quinn Slazinski scored 14 for West Virginia (9-17, 4-9 Big 12).

The Mountaineers broke a four-game losing streak and moved out of a last-place tie with idle Oklahoma State.

UCF (13-12, 4-9) has lost four straight and fell to 1-6 on the road.


Darius Johnson scored a career-high 29 points and Marchelus Avery added 14 for the Knights. Leading scorer Jaylin Sellers was limited to six points on 1-of-11 shooting.

Edwards blocked a dunk attempt by UCF’s Omar Payne, and West Virginia’s Noah Farrakhan fed Kobe Johnson for a fast-break layup for a 58-45 lead with 8:57 remaining.

UCF had 10 blocked shots, including one by Ibrahima Diallo on a layup attempt with 7:38 left by Battle, who fell awkwardly to the floor and was shaken up momentarily.

Battle bounced back to score nine points down the stretch to thwart UCF’s comeback attempt.

Battle fared much better than the last time he faced UCF, when he was held to five points and was ejected in West Virginia’s 72-59 loss on Jan. 23 in Orlando, Florida.

Battle made three baskets in the first five minutes Tuesday and West Virginia jumped ahead 13-4. The Mountaineers pushed their lead to as many as 13 points in the first half before Avery and Sellers hit 3-pointers to pull the Knights within 37-30 at halftime.

West Virginia used primarily a zone defense to limit UCF’s inside game, and the Knights responded with a barrage of 3-point shots. But UCF made just 9 of 38 (24%) attempts from beyond the arc.

Both teams return to the court on Saturday. UCF hosts No. 23 Texas Tech while West Virginia, which is 0-6 on the road, plays at No. 6 Iowa State.

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