MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Esa Ahmad tallied 17 points as No. 11 West Virginia University defeated Radford 84-57 on Tuesday night at the Coliseum.
Jevon Carter scored a season-high 15 points. Tarik Phillip added 13 for the Mountaineers.
The game was closely contested during the first 10 minutes before WVU (10-1) dominated the Highlanders (4-7) the rest of the half.
But the Mountaineers came out flat in the second half. Radford outscored WVU 35-31.
“I don’t know if it was effort or a lack of focus,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “We boxed out and stood and then went and got it. We made an effort to block out sometimes.”
The Highlanders had a 40-37 edge on the glass.
“We know that playing these teams we may get a little lackadaisical throughout the game but these games are preparing us for Big 12,” Ahmad said. “We know that coach stress to us a lot that when we let up, it could be Baylor or Oklahoma State so we got to keep going and 100 percent.
The Mountaineers forced 29 turnovers and had 11 steals.
Carter stripped the ball from Devonnte Holland and then Tarik Phillip finds Jevon Carter with a behind the back pass in transition to give WVU a 33-18 advantage over Radford with 6:43 left in the first.
The Mountaineers would cap a 23-0 run when Miles Jr. found the net to put WVU in front 46-18 with 3:41 remaining.
The Mountaineers took a 31-point lead to the locker room at the half.
Justin Cousin scored 12 points for the Highlanders. Caleb Tanner added 10.
WVU outscored Radford 46-8 in the paint.
The Mountaineers shot 49 percent from the field and connected on 5-of-14 from beyond the arc. WVU shot an atrocious 48 percent from the charity stripe.
Radford shot 37 percent from the floor and 42 percent from 3-point range.
The Mountaineers’ next game is Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. against Northern Kentucky.