Once again, WVU didn’t have trouble scoring in its 101-68 victory over Georgia Southern on Thursday at the Coliseum.
It’s the first time since the 1997-98 season that the Mountaineers have scored 90 or more points in back-to-back games. WVU scored 96 vs. Duquesne on Sunday.
This is the third time a Bob Huggins-coached team at WVU has scored more than 100 points. It’s the first time the Mountaineers have done so since 2007 – Huggins’ first season as head coach.
"We pass the ball this year. It’s a lot easier to run when they think they’re going to get the ball. We play so much better together. They’re so much more unselfish," Huggins said.
West Virginia has now scored 77 or more points in all of its games this year.
The Mountaineers (3-1) had a balanced attack throughout the game. They finished with five players in double-figures.
WVU was led once again by junior point guard Juwan Staten, who had 20 points – 14 of those coming in the first half.
"The great thing about Juwan is that he hasn’t changed. He came in with a terrific attitude and he still has a terrific attitude. His work ethic hasn’t changed," Huggins said. "He’s really taken it upon himself to know what we want done and to know what the other team wants to do. The guys like that that I’ve had have turned into pretty good players and are guys you can trust.
Staten, who came into the game seventh in the country in assists per game, had nine assists. He has finished with six or more assists in every game this season.
Staten is the first Mountaineer to ever have 20 points and nine assists in back-to-back games.
"I'm just going to continue to play my game," Staten said. "We're definitely scoring the ball ... that's something that we want to continue to do against every opponent."
Outside of Staten, guard Eron Harris finished with 15 points despite shooting just 6-of-11. Guard Terry Henderson had 16 points.
Freshman forward Devin Williams had a near double-double. He finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Guard Gary Browne, who missed the Duquesne game as he continues to recover from a deep thigh bruise, finished with 11 points off the bench. He left the game with about six minutes to play and headed back to the locker room after spraining his ankle. Browne said after the game that he's 60 percent healthy.
"I'm happy, because we won the game. I'm happy, because my leg is getting better, but I twisted my ankle today. Life is harder than this," Browne said.
In total, WVU shot 56 percent from the field. The Mountaineers scored 28 points off 17 Georgia Southern turnovers and held the Eagles to just 39 percent shooting from the floor.
Georgia Southern, which took Miami (Fla.) into overtime in an 81-80 Eagles loss earlier this month, didn’t pose much of the threat to the Mountaineers. WVU still allowed Georgia Southern to shoot 55 percent from the field in the second half.
"We’ve got to guard better. That being said, it’s not always points per game. But we can’t hold people to 27 percent and then turn around and give up 55 percent in the second half," Huggins said.
The Eagles came into the game averaging 98 points per game but could only muster 68 versus the Mountaineers, which had been struggling this season defensively.
The Mountaineers also dominated the boards for really the first time this season. They held a 46-36 advantage.
West Virginia had no trouble starting out well against the Eagles. Led by nine early points from Staten, the Mountaineers would score 13 straight before Georgia Southern would get on the board. It took nearly four minutes, for the Eagles to score a point.
West Virginia really wasn’t challenged in the first half. Staten, who hit his first 3-point shot in a game in 1,009 days, averaged more than a point per minute through the first 10 minutes of the game.
In the first half, five players hit 3-pointers for the Mountaineers. Every West Virginia player who stepped onto the court in the first half recorded at least two points.
WVU took advantage of a more than four-minute stretch midway through the first half in which Georgia Southern could only muster one point. It went from a 16-point lead all the way to a 29-point lead in that time.
Up by 30 at multiple times in the first half, WVU took a 55-26 lead at halftime on a thunderous dunk from Henderson.
Georgia Southern was led by guard Tre Bussey, who had 21 points.