#3 West Virginia University vs. #14 Stephen F. Austin
March 18, 2016 / 7:10 ET
The matchup between the SFA lumberjacks and the WVU mountaineers could be a big one. Comparing these two teams, the style of play is fairly similar. Both West Virginia and Stephen F. Austin both utilize the pressing defense. However, West Virginia’s Achilles’ heal may just be the somewhat inconsistent offense.
Match-up to Watch
As far as player-to-player matchups, West Virginia’s Jaysean Paige and Stephen F. Austin’s Thomas Walkup will more than likely be the leading scorers of the game. Walkup has had a great regular season averaging 17.5 points per game shooting nearly 60% from the field and 23% behind the ark. Paige, however, has maintained an average of 13.9 points per game and averaged 46% from the field and 33% behind the ark. These athletes have been major keys to their respective offenses.
X-Factor for West Virginia
The X-Factor for West Virginia is if Devin Williams can get the inside shots to fall. The 6’9” junior averages 13.3 points per game and mainly operates inside the paint. If Williams is able to post up and hit those inside two point shots, WVU will be in pretty good shape.
X-Factor for Stephen F. Austin
The X-Factor for SFA would have to be Demetrius Floyd knocking down those three point shots. From behind the ark, the senior out of St. Louis has an impressive three-point percentage of nearly 43%. This is where SFA has can make their move and score big points despite the tight Mountaineer defense.
A huge key to this game is shooting percentage. SFA has the edge of roughly 3% on both three point shooting and field goals. This could be a factor as to how the game plays out. SFA has a similar, tight, defense like West Virginia along with higher shooting percentages in their respective schedule. Although West Virginia has had a more rigorous schedule in the Big 12, the statistics alone favor SFA slightly.
Personally, I believe West Virginia will take the win. West Virginia has proven itself by defeating the top team Kansas earlier in the season. Furthermore, West Virginia nearly took down Buddy Hield and Oklahoma at Oklahoma in a match going down to the wire. I believe WVU will take a double-digit victory over SFA with a score in the range of 77-64.
Terre Haute South High School class of 2016