Adrian, Harris Shine

Staff Writer
Posted Nov 4, 2013


West Virginia freshman forward Nathan Adrian had an impressive debut on Monday.

The Morgantown native scored 21 points, as the Mountaineers defeated Fairmont State 89-70 in an exhibition at the Coliseum. The season starts on Friday, as WVU takes on Mount St. Mary’s.

"My shooting is always what I take pride in," Adrian said. "I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be ... I didn't know how we were going to come out, but once the game started, we were fine."

West Virginia made 12-of-27 shots from beyond the arc – including six from Adrian, and the Mountaineers scored 35 of their points from the free-throw line.

Sophomore guard Eron Harris scored a team-high 30 points including 15 from the line to lead WVU. Guards Gary Browne and Juwan Staten also scored in double figures.

"We've got some pretty good shooters," said head coach Bob Huggins. "I think we can make shots. I think Nate can make shots. Eron has made shots. Gary has really worked at it. We're going to be a better perimeter shooting team than we've been in a while, I think."

West Virginia was without its likely starting lineup on Monday, as sophomore guard Terry Henderson sat out with a shin injury. Forward Remi Dibo was dressed and played the final two minutes. He continues to recover from knee surgery. Guard Gary Browne, who has been dealing with a thigh injury, played.

Transfer forward Jonathan Holton didn’t play, either, but was on the bench for the Mountaineers.

Adrian filled up the stat sheet early, hitting two threes in the first few minutes to give the Mountaineers a 6-2 lead.

West Virginia’s first nine points came from 3-pointers.

Fairmont State kept it close for the most part, but foul trouble started to hurt the Falcons. With three players earning three fouls each, the Mountaineers were able to gain a decisive lead at the free-throw line.

In the first half, WVU was 20-of-29 from the free-throw line. Harris scored nine of his 18 first-half points from the line.

Fairmont State would come as close as two points to WVU, but a 12-2 run gave the Mountaineers a 42-29 lead that they would keep the rest of the way. West Virginia led 45-33 at the half.

The second half was much of the same, as Fairmont State couldn’t cut the West Virginia lead to under 10 points.

In total, there were 63 total fouls. The Mountaineers made 37-of-54 free throws. Fairmont State was 17-of-28. The Falcons shot 18 more times than the Mountaineers but hit just five more shots.

Fairmont State had a 24-point advantage in the paint.

Freshman forward Devin Williams scored just four points but led the Mountaineers with 13 rebounds. Harris also had eight rebounds. Neither team had a significant rebounding margin.

"We've been stressing in practice that the young guys have to produce, because that's all we have," Harris said. "I told Devin that he's going to have to mature fast, and he has ... He was rebounding like a man out there."

Fairmont State had five players foul out. It's one of only three times in WVU history that five players have fouled out. It's the first time since 1959.

WVU shot 41 percent from the field. The Falcons shot 37 percent for the game. Forward Stevie Browning had a team-high 23 points. Guard Caleb Davis also had 13 points.

A total of 5,375 fans were in attendance.



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