MORGANTOWN — It wasn’t the typical close West Virginia-Duquesne men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon.

Except for a 5-5 tie, the Mountaineers led all the way comfortably in drubbing the Dukes 86-66 before a Coliseum crowd of 7,487 and a regional TV audience.

The 20-point margin was the largest in this rivalry since WVU prevailed 90-75 in the 1996-97 season.

Even that’s misleading, though. The home team’s biggest bulge was 32 points at 71-39 with 11 minutes left.

After coach John Beilein emptied his bench, Duquesne scored the game’s final eight points during the closing 2:34.

“I don’t think we’ll be winning any more games like this (by 20 or more),” Beilein said. “We didn’t want to run up the score.

“We won’t have too many opportunities left to play (reserves who normally don’t get into games).”

Duquesne coach Danny Nee said, “There are a lot of things we can take from this game. We didn’t have the hours we needed in preparation for this game.

“Beilein throws a couple of tweaks into their 1-3-1 zone defense, and it’s hard to simulate that in practice. You really need a good couple of days of preparations.”

The Dukes (1-5) had dropped a 71-60 decision to Pitt on Wednesday night at home.

In making their record 6-3, the Mountaineers shot 46.2 percent from the field (30-65) while limiting Duquesne to 43.4 percent (23-53).

The visitors managed a 36-32 edge in rebounds, but committed 19 turnovers to just eight. WVU came up with 12 steals, which got the team fast-break opportunities.

“It gets us possessions we wouldn’t normally have,” Beilein said. “It creates offense because we’re not a great defensive rebounding team.”

Kevin Pittsnogle, 6-11 center, paced the winning attack with 21 points and eight rebounds. Both were game-highs.

“His release is so quick,” Nee said in praising Pittsnogle. “I think it’s really hard for some people to realize how fast it is for a 6-10, 7-0 guy.”

Mike Gansey was right behind Pittsnogle with 20 points and seven boards. Johannes Herber had 12 points and a team-high six assists, and Patrick Beilein chipped in 11 points.

Bryant McAllister, normally the Dukes’ leading scorer, was limited to 11 points. Teammate DeVario Hudson had 16 points, Aaron Jackson 12 and Jack Higgins 11.

“Bryant is so quick,” Beilein observed. “But we did a great job of guarding him. When they win, he has almost 30 points.”

Pittsnogle said, “We had to come out strong in the first half and not let them stick around. We also tried to come out hard in the second half.

“We wanted to put them away as early as we could. They can be a pretty good team.”

Now Pittsnogle must prepare to don cap and gown at 1:30 p.m. today and receive his degree in WVU’s mid-year commencement exercises.

“I didn’t care for it too much, but I’m going to walk across that stage on this same floor. My mom and dad wanted me to do that.”

His wife and other relatives and friends also will be in attendance as Pittsnogle graduates in just 3 1/2 years.

Gansey said, “I think that was the best we’ve run our offense all year. We’re passing the ball well and we’re shooting well. We’re a better team right now.

“I’m glad we won these three home games (after beating St. Bonaventure in Rochester, N.Y.). We just played really well. “Our confidence is getting up now. We’re playing together well and getting better.”

Herber noted, “We had good intensity out there today. Getting those steals really helped. We’re moving the ball better and playing good defense.”

Back-to-back three-point goals by Gansey and Frank Young gave WVU an 11-5 lead with 3:25 elapsed. The Dukes then trimmed the deficit to 11-10.

But the Mountaineers’ pullaway followed on spurts of 18-4 and 10-4. Those widened the gap to 39-18 with 5:08 to go in the first half.

It was 48-33 at intermission.

WVU increased its advantage to 26 points at 64-38 with 5:38 gone in the second half. The margin hovered around 30 points until the Dukes’ closing burst.

“I’m glad the break for final exams comes now,” Gansey said. “It gives us a chance to relax a little bit.

“Then we can go out to Oklahoma and maybe get one of those wins that escaped us in Kansas City last month.”



West Virginia 86, Duquesne 66

DUQUESNE (1-5)

Lambert 2-8 0-0 4, Duke 3-7 0-0 7, Hudson 6-9 4-4 16, McAllister 2-11 6-6 11, Higgins 4-8 0-0 11, Jackson 5-6 1-1 12, Kelly 0-0 1-2 1, Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Gayden 1-4 2-3 4. Totals 23-53 14-16 66.

WEST VIRGINIA (6-3)

Gansey 8-13 1-1 20, Young 3-5 0-0 9, Pittsnogle 6-13 7-7 21, Collins 1-1 2-2 4, Herber 4-9 2-2 12, Martini 0-1 0-0 0, Alexander 0-1 0-0 0, Nichols 3-7 0-0 7, Ruoff 0-2 0-0 0, Sowards 0-0 0-0 0, Tallman 0-0 0-0 0, Beilein 4-12 1-2 11, Talkington 0-0 0-2 0, Summers 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 30-65 13-16 86.

Halftime—West Virginia 48-33. 3-Point Goals—Duquesne 6-12 (Higgins 3-4, Jackson 1-1, McAllister 1-3, Duke 1-3, Lambert 0-1), West Virginia 13-31 (Gansey 3-4, Young 3-4, Herber 2-3, Pittsnogle 2-6, Beilein 2-10, Nichols 1-2, Ruoff 0-1, Martini 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Duquesne 36 (Duke 7), West Virginia 32 (Pittsnogle 8). Assists—Duquesne 12 (McAllister 5), West Virginia 22 (Herber 6). Total Fouls—Duquesne 15, West Virginia 16. A—7,487.

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