Sean McNeil is heating up while WVU looks for third scorer

Gold and Blue Nation

McNeil has been near-perfect from three-point range over the last three games

Sean McNeil shooting the ball in game a against Kansas State (PHOTO: Jamie Green)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Sean McNeil has been West Virginia’s second-leading scorer all season long.

Offensively, he has been doing exactly what was expected of him coming into this season: be an efficient three-point shooter, and be the No. 2 scorer behind Taz Sherman.

That was partially the case on Dec. 18 in a road win against UAB.

McNeil scored 12 points, as he and Sherman (17 points) were the only Mountaineers to finish the game in double figures. Ten of his 12 points came after halftime in a comeback performance by WVU.

“Sean had maybe the hardest shot made all year against UAB when we really needed it,” said Bob Huggins on Monday.

McNeil also went 0-for-3 from three-point range in that game against the Blazers.

“I thought they did a good job of guarding him,” Huggins said. “But we probably didn’t do a good enough job of getting him open.”

He’s been red-hot from distance ever since.

In the three games that have followed, McNeil is an incredible 10-for-12 from beyond the arc. During that time, he has recorded a pair of 20-point performances, including tying a career-high with 26 points in Saturday’s comeback win over Kansas State.

McNeil made a career-best nine shots against the Wildcats. Four of those makes were on 3-pointers, and 19 of his 26 points came in the second half as WVU roared back from a 13-point halftime deficit.

“Just letting the game come to me. I have trust in my teammates, and I know they have trust in me. So, I was never trying to force,” McNeil said following Saturday’s victory. “It was good. I’m just glad we got the win. Huge comeback win for us.”

Following the game against UAB, McNeil’s season scoring average was 13 points per game, and he was shooting just 32.1 percent from three-point range.

Just three games later, he’s upped his average to 14.8 points per contest, which is the seventh-best scoring clip in the Big 12 Conference. He’s also increased his three-point shooting percentage to 41.5 percent.

“He’s worked a lot with his ball skills to try to be able to get a little bit of distance between him and the guy guarding him,” said Huggins.

McNeil will try to continue his hot shooting streak on Tuesday as the Mountaineers take on Oklahoma State at 9 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum.

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