Eric Stevenson (31) passed West Virginia for first place 15 Auburn.

Morgantown, West Virginia. (AP) — Eric Stephenson continues to work to get a better record as West Virginia clashes with the ranking team. Finally Saturday. Stevenson scored a career-high 31 points as the Mountaineers survived the final climb to take first place. 15. Auburn beat the Tigers 80-77 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Stevenson made 10 of 17 shots,  including seven 3-pointers. In his  previous six games. he shot 18 of 67 (27%) from the floor,  including  5 of 34 (15%) from  beyond the arc.

Stevenson, a graduate  transfer from South Carolina  who is West Virginia’s  leading scorer at 13.1  points  per  game,  said it felt like he was “ shooting the ball  in the ocean” on Saturday.

“It’s been  a long two,  three weeks,” he  said, his voice cracking with emotion. “I’ve been  shooting the ball  well in practice. I’ve had  good  mental days. Then come  game time, it hasn’t been  dropping for me. It’s  really been taking a toll on me. It’s my  job to  help the  team in any  way I can. They  rely on me to score, and if I’m  not scoring,  it’s hurting the  team. It’s  really been hurting me, to be honest.”

Stevenson’s turnovers and  defensive  mistakes have at  times landed him a seat  on the bench  near  coach Bob Huggins. A few weeks ago, Huggins  said he and Stevenson have a  relationship where “I  know  he’s  a little crazy, and he  knows I  might be crazier.” But Huggins  said the  player has become “ more coachable.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *