Strong Second Half Lifts WVU on Friday

  • By John Antonik
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  • December 23, 2016 07:42 PM
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Tarik Phillip came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points to lead 11th-ranked West Virginia to 92-61 victory over Northern Kentucky late Friday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
West Virginia trailed by eight early in the game but was able to flip that around by halftime, leading by seven at the break.
"They did a good job of throwing the ball out of traps," said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. "They probably did a best job distributing the ball out of traps than anybody's done all year. When you've got two against one you're supposed to really bother that guy but we didn't bother him much."
WVU used a 14-4 run to begin the second half to build its lead to 17, 48-31, at the first media stoppage and then got its margin to 20 points at the 10-minute mark.
Northern (9-4) made a mini run to reduce West Virginia’s lead to 15, 67-52, but senior Brandon Watkins answered with a pair of free throws to begin another 9-1 spurt to make it a 23-point contest.
Teyvon Myers added 13 off the bench and WVU got 12 from starting forward Esa Ahmad and 11 from starting guard Jevon Carter to improve to 11-1.
West Virginia shot 51.6 percent from the field for the game and forced 25 turnovers.
Northern Kentucky got 12 points from Carson Williams and 10 each from Lavone Holland II and Brennan Gillis.
Center Drew McDonald, the team’s leading scorer averaging better than 17 points per game, failed to score this afternoon.
"A hard-earned win," said Huggins. "They do a good job. They've done a great job going into places and winning. They've got nine wins."
The 31-point win was the eighth time the Mountaineers have won by 27 points or more at the WVU Coliseum so far this year.
An announced crowd of 10,197 watched today’s game.