Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

November 18, 2013

Harris scores 33, leads WVU past Duquesne

MORGANTOWN — It was not going to happen this year. Last year, a spirited Duquesne squad tripped a West Virginia team heading to its worst overall record in coach Bob Huggins Division I career. Not this year.

“Coach Huggins just said in the locker room that winning’s a lot better than losing; so, it’s good to get this good win—seeing as they beat us last year,” said the game’s leading scorer, Eron Harris.

Three Mountaineers scored their career highs Sunday as the Mountaineers avenged a 2012-13 season loss to Duquesne 96-83.

The Dukes (1-2) had dealt West Virginia (2-1) a 60-56 defeat in Pittsburgh last year, and the Mountaineers went on to finished 13-19.

This year, a barrage of scoring by Harris (33), Juwan Staten (28) and Devin Williams (18) supplied 79 of the Mountaineers’ point total. All represent career highs for Harris, a sophomore; Staten, a junior; and Williams, a true freshman.

Harris’ previous best (25) came on Feb. 27, 2013 against Baylor. Against the Dukes, the second-year player connected on 12-of-19 field goals, including 6-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc.  He pulled down 6 rebounds.

Staten connected on 7-of-11 field goals and hit a career-best 12-of-17 free throws, 9 assists and 3 rebounds. Williams scored 8 of 10 on field goal attempts and grabbed 10 boards in just his third game all-time.

“I think he’s trying too hard with his buckets right now, but he’ll figure that out because he’s still young,” Harris said of the rookie, Williams. “He’s doing all that with raw talent right now. So once he learns the game he’s going to be a monster.”

Duquesne put two scorers in double figures—Ovie Soko (19) and Dominique McKoy (13).

“The biggest key to this game was Juwan Staten. I know Harris scored all those points, but we just couldn’t keep (Staten) in front of us,” said Duquesne coach Jim Ferry. “I thought he just dominated this basketball game.”

West Virginia saw a 17-point lead dissipate at Virginia Tech, but it was not going to happen this night. Duquesne closed to 75-71 with 7:30 left, but Harris and Terry Henderson knocked down triples to send the Mountaineers ahead 81-71.

West Virginia had the first half in hand 49-39 with 11 seconds left—but Duquesne sharp-shooter Micah Mason accomplished a four-point-play to cut the Mountaineer lead to six at intermission. WVU’s largest lead was 17 at the game’s 2:20 mark.

The Mountaineers (33-of-56, 59 percent) continue to shoot the ball well despite only having eight able-bodied scholarship players for the game. West Virginia is 67-3 at home against non-conference teams in the last nine years, including 48 of its last 49 games.

“Now, they’ve got an idea of what I want. They’ve got an idea how to get opportunities out of the offense. They understand the offense so much better. I think what’s happened to (Juwan) and Eron, they are more on the same page than what they were before,” said Huggins.

The Mountaineers are 99-6 under Huggins when posting a higher shooting percentage than its opponent. Duquesne was 45.5 percent (30 of 66) from the floor.

For Huggins, it was his 725th all-time win against 287 losses. Those 725 put him ahead of Ray Meyer for 18th place all time among NCAA Division I coaches. Huggins is the third winningest active head coach behind Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim.

*****

DUQUESNE (1-2)

Soko 6-12 7-10 19, Colter 1-6 0-0 2, White 4-10 1-2 10,  McKoy 6-8 3-5 15, Jere. Jones 3-4 0-0 6, Jerr. Jones 0-3 0-0 0,  Mason 6-8 1-1 18, Ridenour 3-11 1-3 8, Gill 1-4 3-3 5, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-66 16-24 83.

WEST VIRGINIA (2-1)

Staten 7-11 14-19 28, Williams 8-10 2-6 18, Harris 12-19 3-7 33,  Adrian 1-2 0-0 3, Noreen 0-0 0-0 0, Dibo 2-6 0-0 5, Connor 0-0 0-0 0,  Henderson 2-5 1-2 7, Watkins 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 33-56 20-34 96.

Halftime—West Virginia 49-43. 3-Point Goals—Duquesne 7-21 (Mason  5-7, White 1-3, Ridenour 1-4, Jerr. Jones 0-2, Gill 0-2, Colter 0-3),  West Virginia 10-18 (Harris 6-8, Henderson 2-4, Adrian 1-2, Dibo 1-4).  Fouled Out—Dibo, Noreen. Rebounds—Duquesne 39 (Soko 12), West Virginia  30 (Williams 10). Assists—Duquesne 10 (Colter, McKoy, Ridenour 2), West  Virginia 15 (Staten 9). Total Fouls—Duquesne 26, West Virginia 20.  A—6,038.

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