MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) RaeQuan Battle scored 22 of his 29 points in the first half and West Virginia blew most of an 18-point lead before holding on to beat Toledo 91-81 Saturday in the first meeting between the programs since World War II.

The Rockets beat West Virginia 43-35 at home in the first meeting on Jan. 20, 1941, and the Mountaineers evened the series the following season, beating Toledo 51-39 at Madison Square Garden in the semifinals of the NIT. WVU defeated Western Kentucky two days later to win the 1942 NIT title.

Quinn Slazinski had 14 points for West Virginia (5-7), Kerr Kriisa added 12 points and 10 assists and Noah Farrakhan also scored 12. Akok Akok finished with nine points with 12 rebounds and two blocks.

Ra'Heim Moss scored 21 points before fouling out with about a minute to go for Toledo (6-6). Dante Maddox Jr. and Javan Simmons added 14 points apiece, Tyler Cochran scored 12 and Bryce Ford 10.

Akok threw down a dunk, and Battle converted a three-point play to give the Mountaineers the lead for good with 17:51 to go in the first half. Kriisa followed with two 3-pointers before Battle made a layup to cap a 13-0 run that made it 15-4 less than five minutes into the game.

Battle made 9 of 15 from the field, 2 of 3 from 3-point range and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line. The fifth-year senior, who began his career at Washington and spent the last two seasons at Montana State, scored 29 in his West Virginia debut on Wednesday in a loss to Radford. Battle sat out the start of the season when the NCAA denied the two-time transfer’s initial waiver request.

Moss, Ford and Maddox each hit a 3-pointer as the Rockets outscored West Virginia 23-13 over the first seven-plus minutes of the second half and Andre Lorentsson hit a 3-pointer to cut Toledo's deficit to 66-64 with eight minutes to play. Akok answered with a layup, Kriisa followed with a 3-pointer and Toledo got no closer.


Toledo is off for the holidays before the Rockets open Mid-American Conference play Jan. 2 at Ohio.

West Virginia plays Ohio State at the Legends of Basketball Showcase in Cleveland on Dec. 30.

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