Hot-shooting West Virginia tops Stetson 103-62
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Bob Huggins did not think much of his team's pre-game practice, with the exception of one player who showed out - Devin Williams
Williams scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and four teammates finished in double figures as West Virginia beat Stetson 103-62 Friday night.
The game was the first of four that both the Mountaineers (3-0) and Hatters (0-3) will play in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
Both teams will play home games on Monday and then head to Las Vegas for the remainder of the tournament.
Elijah Macon scored a career-high 18 points with seven rebounds for West Virginia. Jaysean Paige scored a career-high 19 points and five boards, and Esa Ahmad scored a career-best 11 points with eight rebounds. Daxter Miles Jr. scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds.
''We didn't come out to play, we had a really bad practice yesterday and the group generally doesn't have bad practices,'' said Huggins. ''I didn't really do much to challenge their thought processes. I didn't think we played well.''
It was the second time this season West Virginia has topped 100 points total since beating Northern Kentucky 107-61 in their opener.
Leo Goodman (14 points) and Derick Newton (12) were Stetson's leading scorers.
The Mountaineers shot 57 percent in the first half and 73 percent in the second, making 22 of 30, while the Hatters shot 31 percent.
Each team lost key players to fouls trouble. Jonathan Holton fouled out for WVU, while Brian Pegg and Drew Romich were benched for Stetson.
Stetson led by as many as 8 points with 10:13 left in the first half before the Mountaineers started chipping away.
WVU scored 9 straight points - 5 of which came on a 3-pointer and layup by Paige - to put the Mountaineers up 24-23 with 7:25 left.
After a Goodman 3, WVU reserve Macon slam-dunked a pair to tie the game at 26.
Following a Stetson free throw, Macon took the ball inside for a 3-point-play and another WVU lead (29-27).
The Hatters tied it one last time at 29, but Paige, Macon and Tarik Phillip answered with six straight points and a 35-29 WVU lead with 4:41 left to go.
Stetson made one last push on back-to-back scores by Ty Cockfield to cut WVU's lead to 36-33 lead with 4:06 left.
The Hatters would score just one more field goal as WVU went on a 15-2 tear for a 51-35 halftime lead.
WVU: The Mountaineers connected on twice as many field goals as the Hatters (38-19). Ahmad was good for 5 of 7 field goals, Williams hit 5 of 9 from the floor, and Paige was 7 for 9, including 3 of 5 from behind the arc. Macon did not miss one of his eight shots. . The Mountaineers shot 57 percent for the game, marking first time they have shot better than 50 percent in 21 games.
Stetson: The Hatters had allowed 101 points per game in their 0-2 start before playing the Mountaineers.
WVU: The Mountaineers were averaging 96.5 points in their first two tussles. . Both Holton and Williams were averaging double-doubles before Friday's game.
West Virginia hosts Bethune-Cookman Monday in the second of four games in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. The final two contests will take place in Las Vegas.
Stetson will also play its second game in the invitational at home with a Monday meeting against Fort Valley State.