Mountaineers Roll in Season Opener

  • By John Antonik
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  • November 11, 2016 09:48 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia forced 21 turnovers that turned into 26 points and that powered the 20th-ranked Mountaineers to a season-opening 87-59 victory over Mount St. Mary’s at the WVU Coliseum tonight.
A curious crowd of 10,510 got their first look at the newly renovated concourse area to the 46-year-old arena, and then watched the same old Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers run away with another non-conference home victory - his 49th in 53 games since returning to his alma mater in 2008.
However, Huggins, now eight wins shy of 800 for his career, said he wasn’t overly thrilled with his team’s performance this evening.
“Generally when you miss free throws the way we missed free throws, and you are as careless with the ball the way we were today, you’re not really ready to play,” said Huggins. “We just weren’t very good.”
Nathan Adrian led a balanced stat sheet with 13 points on four-of-six shooting, freshman Sagaba Knonate came off the bench to contribute 11 points and six rebounds and Jevon Carter added 10.
“I was really encouraged with Sags. I thought Sags played really well; protects the basket, he rebounds the ball, he catches the ball so I was happy with him,” said Huggins.
Eleven different players had double-digit minutes, no starter played more than Carter’s 27 and eight different guys scored seven points or more.
West Virginia (1-0) shot 47.8 percent from the floor, hit 17 of 29 from the free throw line, made six of 18 from 3 and never trailed in the game, leading by 19 at halftime and reaching its biggest margin of 29 at the end of the game.
The Mountaineers grabbed 19 offensive rebounds, blocked seven shots - three coming from junior forward Elijah Macon - and made six steals.
WVU was down one player this evening with Daxter Miles Jr. sitting out with the flu. Adrian left the floor late in the second half but returned for the postgame handshake.
Mount St. Mary’s (0-1) got 15 points from Greg Alexander, 14 from Elijah Long and 11 from Miles Wilson.
West Virginia had a 45-32 edge on the glass in a game that featured a foul a minute - a combined 46 in 40 minutes of action.
“I was extremely disappointed in the second half with the pressure when they just kept driving down and shooting layups,” said Huggins. “That hasn’t happened in two years and now all of a sudden with this group it’s happening.”
The Mountaineers have a quick turnaround with a game coming up Monday night against Mississippi Valley State at the Coliseum at 7 p.m.
That contest will also be televised locally on ROOT SPORTS. 

Men's Basketball - 07/24/17
Huggins Announces Staff Reorganization
Men's Basketball - 07/18/17
Carter Earns NABC Academic Honor