By JOHN RABY
Deniz Kilicli scored a season-high 21 points to lead West Virginia to a 69-59 win over Marshall on Wednesday night.
West Virginia (3-3) beat its intrastate rival for the sixth time in the last seven meetings and improved to 30-11 all-time in the series.
The Mountaineers looked lethargic early, went ahead to stay late in the first half and extended the lead to as many as 11 points after halftime.
Juwan Staten added 12 points for West Virginia.
D.D. Scarver scored 17 points, Elijah Pittman added 16 and DeAndre Kane had 13 for Marshall (5-4).
Marshall, which saw its three-game winning streak snapped, turned in another inconsistent performance at the free-throw line, where it was outscored 24-12.
West Virginia outrebounded Marshall 13-6 over the final seven minutes and 43-35 overall.
Kilicli went 7 of 19 from the floor but made up for that by going 7 of 8 from the line. He finished a point shy of his career high set last season at Providence.
Marshall went more than six minutes between field goals and Kilicli’s baby hook extended West Virginia’s six-point halftime lead to 51-40 with 8:53 left. But Kilicli went to the bench 30 seconds later with his fourth foul.
Pittman kept Marshall’s deficit in single digits with a pair of 3-pointers, but the Thundering Herd got no closer than five points the rest of the game.
Staten made a pair of driving layups 22 seconds apart to put the Mountaineers ahead 59-52 with 2:09 left.
Bad blood between the rivals heated up late in the game.
Players from both teams had to be separated with 1:39 left after a Kilicli basket. The officials went to the replay monitor to sort things out.
Marshall’s Robert Goff was ejected, as were four West Virginia players who left the bench: Aaric Murray, Terry Henderson, Jabarie Hinds and Eron Harris. One player for each team also was assessed a technical foul, and two more technicals were called in the final minute.
The annual game at the Charleston Civic Center was moved from its traditional January slot this season to accommodate West Virginia’s debut in the Big 12.
West Virginia missed eight of its first nine shots and trailed by as many as seven early in the first half. Marshall started having turnover problems and lost its shooting touch after starting out strong.
Murray provided a spark with his only three baskets of the game in a two-minute span, putting in a rebound to give the Mountaineers their first lead, 25-24, with 2:45 left until halftime.
Marshall was held to one field goal over the final five minutes of the half and West Virginia finished on a 12-1 run to lead 31-25.