The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

November 21, 2013

West Virginia thumps Georgia Southern

MORGANTOWN — Bob Huggins said he wanted an emphasis on defense, and that is what he got.

His West Virginia Mountaineers slugged Georgia Southern 101-68 Thursday night, and they did it with defense. The final margin represented the most points scored by a West Virginia squad since Huggins’ first team back at his alma mater (2007-08) savaged Maryland Eastern Shore 110-44.

Juwan Staten led five Mountaineers in double figures in the first-round game of the Cancun Challenge.

The Mountaineers (3-1) play Presbyterian Saturday at home while Georgia Southern (2-2) travels to Old Dominion before heading to Cancun, Mexico.

Staten (20 points) connected on 7-of-11 field goals, 5-of-6 free throws, doled out 9 assists and hauled down 5 rebounds.

He got plenty of support from true freshman Devin Williams and reserve Terry Henderson — both of whom scored 16 points — Eron Harris (15) and Gary Browne (11), who played for the first time since the 87-82 loss at Virginia Tech on Nov. 12. Browne has been recovering from a bruised thigh.

The five in double figures was a West Virginia first since March 9, 2013 against Iowa State.

Tre Bussey of Georgia Southern led all scorers with 21 points. Teammate Jelani Hewitt also cracked double figures with 15.

West Virginia shot 56.3 percent for the game (40-of-71), while Georgia Southern was good on 25-of-64 shots (39.1 percent).

The Mountaineers rattled off the first 12 straight before the Eagles found the goal and then opened up a 43-13 score with 6:33 remaining in the half.

Supporting those initial dozen points for the Mountaineers were three blocks by true freshman forward Nathan Adrian and a steal from fellow starting forward Kevin Noreen.

Adrian had two blocks in the first three games; Noreen had recorded three steals.

“The coaches put a paper in our lockers that let us know that we were giving up the most points in the Big 12,” Staten said. “That’s something we all took pretty hard, so we wanted to come out at the beginning of the game and stop them from running anything. We wanted to jump out on them and get a huge lead at the beginning and just show people the type of defense we can play.”

When Browne dropped in a 3-point shot the Mountaineers held a 30-point lead, 43-13, with 6:33 remaining in the first half. The Mountaineers had outscored the Eagles, 31-13.

Coming into the game, Staten had played 119 of a possible 120 minutes. He had scored double figures in each contest, shooting 51.5 percent. He had one or fewer turnover in 9 of the last 10 games dating back to last year. He led the Big 12 in assists per game (7.3) and is third in the league in scoring (20 points per game).

“The great thing about Wani (Staten) to this point is he hasn’t changed,” Huggins said. “He came in with a terrific attitude. He still has a terrific attitude. His work ethic hasn’t changed. He’s really taken it upon himself to know what we want done, to know what the other team wants to do. The guys that I’ve had like that have been pretty good players.”

The Mountaineers are 37-1 at home under head coach Bob Huggins in non-conference games when shooting 50 percent or more in a game.

“It feels good to be on the positive side of breaking records this year,” Staten said. “Last year, we set a lot of records probably not in the right way, and it feels good to turn it around this year.”

WVU is 68-3 at home against non-conference teams in the last 11 years, including 49 of their last 50.

Huggins’ 726 all-time victories place him 17th on the all-time list. He needs three more to tie Norm Stewart and Jerry Tarkanian for 16th place in all-time victories.

Text Only
College Sports
  • Trickett takes uncertainty away from WVU quarterback position

    Since the day Geno Smith was selected with the 39th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, West Virginia’s football team has found itself in a rare position — searching for a starting quarterback.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fred Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.

    July 27, 2014

  • Herd featured prominently in website’s preseason honors

    Marshall received several nods in the CollegeSportsMadness.com preseason All-Conference USA awards released Saturday.

    July 27, 2014

  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp