West Virginia routs Northern Kentucky 107-61
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Jevon Carter scored 24 points to lead West Virginia past Northern Kentucky in a 107-61 win Friday night.
Daxter Miles Jr. added 19 points, while Devin Williams had 18 points plus 15 rebounds and Jonathan Holton had 14 points to go with 12 rebounds for the Mountaineers, which marked their 500th victory in their coliseum, which opened in 1970. Carter also had six assists and hit two 3-pointers.
''Press Virginia,'' the Mountaineers' full court defense which they rode to a Sweet 16 designation in 2014, forced 30 turnovers out of the Norse. The Mountaineers shot 49 percent from the floor, held a 35-14 advantage in made free throws, but hit just 6 of 25 from long range.
Tyler White led Northern Kentucky with 17 points and Lavone Holland II added 11 in the season opener for both teams.
''It feels good with everybody chipping in, doing what they do and you really can't ask for too much more than that,'' Carter said.
West Virginia took an 18-4 lead within the first 5 minutes based on its 7-for-7 shooting from the field and seven forced turnovers. The Mountaineers scored 11 straight points to extend their lead to a 14-point advantage with 15:24 showing.
West Virginia came into the game as the 2014-15 reigning NCAA Division champ in steals (376) and steals per game (10.2). WVU also led the country in offensive rebounding average (16.3).
''What we did last year was all right, but we're looking to exceed what we did last year. So, we got to turn it up even more,'' Carter added.
The Norse cut the Mountaineer lead to 24-16 on a bucket by Dean Danos with 10:34 left in the first half, but the home team went on a 19-1 run to lead 43-17 with 6:32 to go.
''I felt pretty good. I've been in the gym all week, I've been in here all day. Ever since shoot around it's been feeling good, so my intention was to come out and shoot the ball like I do,'' Carter said.
The Mountaineers forced the Norse into 19 first-half turnovers, while committing nine. They out-rebounded their foes 24-14.
Both coaches liberally substituted in the second half and the contest became sloppy. There were 14 personal fouls called on the Mountaineers, while 18 were whistled on the Norse. Both teams combined for a total of 35 free throw attempts.
WVU stole 20 balls from its foe. Carter had five, while Miles had four.
TIP-INS - WVU is 98-10 all-time in home openers.
The Mountaineers defeated the Norse 67-42 on the road last season. Ohio Northern took a 2011 exhibition, 77-74. The score failed to count on either ledger.
Northern Kentucky has moved to the Horizon League, a Division I conference, after participating in the Atlantic Sun in recent seasons. The Norse will participate in a league card, but will not be available for post-season NCAA play until the 2016-17 season.
WHAT'S NEXT - West Virginia plays James Madison Monday in Charleston. Northern Kentucky hosts Tiffin Tuesday.
NUMBERS - Carter, whose all-time high single-game scoring record was 28 points against VMI on Nov. 16, 2014, connected on 3-of-6 three-pointers. Miles was good on 8-of-13 from the field. Williams had a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Holton was 6-of-7 from the free throw line. He also had 12 boards.
White was 6-of-7 from the free-throw line.
OFFICIATING - Several rules changes are part of the 2015-16 season. First, the shot clock has been reduced from 35 seconds to 30. Also, more ''freedom of movement'' is to be allowed by the officials, so that players may continue their motion. Fifty-eight fouls were called at the WVU Coliseum.