Brooklyn, N.Y.– The 19th-ranked West Virginia University basketball team’s high-pressure defense proved to be too much for the Fighting Illini as the Mountaineers rolled Illinois 89-57 on Thursday afternoon.
WVU’s full-court defense suffocated the Illini (4-2), forcing 24 turnovers, which resulted in 34 points. The Mountaineers (4-0) had 15 steals
Nathan Adrian paved the way for WVU, notching 13 points and grabbing eight boards.
Jevon Carter tallied 10 points and the Mountaineers’ bench combined to score 41 points.
Daxter Miles Jr. played in his first game of the season and scored eight points. The junior guard looked like his old self immediately dropping back-to-back 3s in the first half.
WVU’s biggest lead was 39 points following a Maciej Bender follow-up basket with 4:42 remaining in the game.
The Mountaineers took a commanding 46-29 lead on a Lamont West tip in at the end of the first half.
WVU dominated the Illini 52-30 in the paint. The Mountaineers had a 44-40 edge on the glass.
WVU shot 45.8 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers made just 17-of-30 from the free throw line
Michael Finke led Illinois with 13 points. Mike Thorne Jr. tallied 12 points and grabbed seven boards.
WVU will take on Temple on Friday at 3 p.m. in the NIT Season Tip-Off Championship Game. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Cover Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports