All win streaks come to an end eventually, and No. 11 West Virginia’s was snapped on Wednesday.
Despite Derek Culver picking up his third double-double of the season, West Virginia was downed by No. 1 Gonzaga 87-82, ending the Mountaineers’ season-opening winning streak at three.
West Virginia (3-1) jumped out to a short-lived lead, which was quickly taken by Gonzaga after the Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run.
On the backs of Miles McBride and Oscar Tshiebwe, who each scored 10 points in the first half, the Mountaineers wrestled the lead back from the Bulldogs and entered halftime with a 39-34 lead.
Gonzaga (3-0) came out in the second half strong, continuing the back and forth battle before ultimately taking back the lead.
With eight minutes remaining, Tshiebwe earned his fifth foul and fouled out of the game and, soon after, Gabe Osabuohien also picked up his fifth foul. Freshman Isaiah Cottrell played an increased role in their absence, scoring six points and coming down with one rebound over six minutes played.
The Mountaineers continued to chase in hopes of making a comeback, but their efforts were ultimately fruitless. Gonzaga’s offense could not be contained, making 49% of the team’s shots from the field.
Culver led the Mountaineers in scoring, ending the game with 18 points. Through the season’s first four games, he leads the team with an average of 15.75 points per game.
For the fourth straight game, Culver came down with 10 or more rebounds. He finished with 15, with five coming on the offensive side of the floor.
Gonzaga forwards Drew Timme and Corey Kispert, who together entered the game averaging 50.5 points per game, ended the night totaling 36 points — a strong finish after combining for only 10 in the first half.
The Mountaineers will return to the hardwood on Sunday, traveling to Washington D.C. for a clash with the Georgetown Hoyas in the Big East/Big 12 Battle. Tip off will come at 4:30 p.m., and the matchup will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.