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COL BKB: West Virginia 65, Kent St. 54

March 17, 2004 at 9:33 PM

KENT, Ohio, March 17 (UPI) -- Johannes Herber helped West Virginia pull away late Wednesday night as the Mountaineers downed Kent State in the NIT, 65-54.

The Golden Flashes were disappointed they did not receive an at-larbe bid to the NCAA Tournament, but they did nothing to bolster their case.

Kent State (22-9) had its NCAA hopes dashed with a loss to Western Michigan in the championship of the Mid-American Conference tournament.

West Virginia (16-13) did not trail after the opening eight minutes, but Kent State reeled off nine straight points to pull within 46-43 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Mountaineers responded with 14 of the next 20 points. Herber scored all of his eight points consecutively during the spurt, which D'or Fischer capped with a pair of free throws for a 60-49 cushion with a minute to play.

West Virginia will next face Rhode Island.

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