By Austin Gessel
While State’s men’s basketball team fell 79-77 Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Fairmont State, the Yellow Jackets have won eight out their past 11 games and own a 13-5 record, including an 8-5 mark in the Mountain East Conference.
Just 12-17 last season, State is starting to realize how special this season is. The Yellow Jackets posted an electric 74-72 win Sunday on live television against nationally ranked University of Charleston.
Redshirt freshman Anthony Pittman, junior Glen Abrams, senior Michal Seal and junior Jeremiah Moore are the stars of the show, each frequently scoring double figures.
What has changed?
“We’ve started stringing some really good practices together,” said Jamison Hunt, a sophomore from Ripley High School. “I think those practices go into what we do on the court in the games.”
Asked about the Sunday game against rival UC, he said, “Beating our rival at home on television is always nice, but beating them when they are nationally ranked makes the win that much better.”
UC went into Sunday’s game ranked 21st nationally with a record of 15-2 and starting to get serious attention. The Golden Eagles were coming off a 10-win streak and, until Sunday, had been blowing out their opponents.
Both teams scored below their season averages, but the game was an absolute nail-biter. State went into that game ranked in the top five in scoring in the nation. UC was not far behind in that category.
The season is still far from over, but State already is one win away until it reaches its most wins since the 2011-12 season, when the Yellow Jackets were 14-13.
State’s next game is 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Frostburg State.
A collision of two of the top teams in the MEC is coming Feb. 29, where a revenge-hungry UC team is awaiting State’s arrival in Charleston.