Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

November 24, 2013

It’s West Virginia

Mountaineers take down Blue Hose, head to Cancun

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s Eron Harris led four Mountaineers in double figures as WVU took out Presbyterian 88-55 here Saturday afternoon.

Harris led all scorers with 19 points, while teammates Juwan Staten (16), Remi Dibo (14) and Devin Williams (11) all provided firepower.

Williams, a true freshman center, picked up his second double-double for West Virginia (4-1). He pulled down a game-leading 11 rebounds.

Jordan Downing (18) was the only double-figures scorer for the Blue Hose (1-4), who have yet to beat an NCAA Division I school thus far.

The game is part of the Cancun Classic, which moves to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Tuesday. The Mountaineers will play Old Dominion at that juncture and then meet either Wisconsin or Saint Louis on Thursday.

It will be WVU’s first foray outside of the United States, other than an event in Puerto Rico.

Presbyterian will play Bowling Green on Tuesday.

WVU came into the game averaging 89 points per game and 51 percent shooting from the field. Both those stats were 25th statistically in the nation.

The Mountaineers, who have won three straight games, did nothing to diminish those numbers. In this game, they connected on 49 percent (31 of 63) from the field, 44 percent (11 of 25) from beyond the 3-point line and 75 percent (15 of 20) from the free-throw line.

Harris, who entering the game led the Big 12 in scoring (20.8 points per game), connected on 7 of 15 field-goal attempts and 3 of 6 3-pointers. Staten, the league’s second-leading points producer (20), hit 7 of 10 shots, handed out seven assists, and hauled down five rebounds.

Prior to Presbyterian, Staten had played 149 of 160 minutes for the Mountaineers this year. He had scored in double figures in each contest and was shooting 54.5 percent from the floor with 31 assists and only four turnovers.

Staten had one or fewer turnovers in 10 of his last 11 games dating back to last year.

He became the first player in school history to have 20-plus points and at least nine assists in back-to-back games.

Before this game, Harris was shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 47.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

The Mountaineers led the Big 12 this season in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.82) and were second in points, 3-point field goal percentage (43.5), steals (eight) and turnover margin (plus 5.25).

They continued adding onto those numbers in this first meeting between WVU and Presbyterian.

The Blue Hose mustered just 39.6 percent (19 of 48) from the floor and 35 percent (7 of 20) from beyond 3-point range.

Presbyterian scored 19 field goals, while West Virginia put in 11 3-pointers. It turned the ball over 19 times. The Mountaineers made eight steals.

The Blue Hose trailed 20-16 with 9:41 left in the first half, but West Virginia scored nine straight points to go ahead 29-16. That was the closest the visitors would get.

WVU is 69-3 at home against nonconference teams in the last 11 years, including 49 of 50.

The Mountaineers are 35-1 against nonconference opponents at home under Bob Huggins.

The WVU head coach now has 727 career victories, which puts him in 18th place on the all-time coaching list. He needs two victories to tie Norm Stewart and Jerry Tarkanian for 16th place

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