MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s offense faced no problems against Penn, making 12 three-pointers in their 92-58 victory on Friday night from the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers took care of business against the Preseason Ivy League favorites, led by Erik Stevenson with 21 points, giving head coach Bob Huggins his 920th career win — tying Jim Calhoun for third on the all-time wins list.
“We didn’t execute a lot of the things that have been really good for us,” Huggins said. “We lack consistency at this point intake and we lack consistency at the defensive end.”
The Mountaineers found their stroke from the beyond the arc early on, and would not shy away from that approach for the remainder the first half.
Stevenson hit the first three-pointer of the game for the Mountaineers, putting West Virginia ahead 7-1. Stevenson would hit from three again to put the Mountaineers ahead 17-7, before they would begin to pull away.
“It didn’t even really feel like I was hot,”Stevenson said. “I was just shooting it, it was dropping for me”
Leading 17-9, West Virginia went on an 11-0 run, hitting back-to-back-to-back three-pointers from Joe Toussaint, Tre Mitchell, and Stevenson again. Stevenson would score 17 points in the first half.
“To be honest man, when they’re making shots like that it’s a good thing and a bad thing, because it means you’re not offensive rebounding,” Stevenson said. “When you’re shooting 55 percent from the field and 52 (percent) from three, it’s hard go rebounding.”
In the first half West Virginia made 18 shots, with nine of them being three-pointers, carrying a 52-31 lead into the break.
Despite the strong shooting performance, Huggins was not happy with his team’s performance.
“Offensively we weren’t sharp,” Huggins said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
The second half saw all 14 players on West Virginia’s active roster see the floor. Kedrian Johnson paced the group with seven points, while 12 plays were able to score in the second half.
For the game, the Mountaineers shot 55.6% from the field, while going 12-for-23 from beyond the arc. Penn shot 35% from the field, and turned the ball over 18 times, leading to 21 West Virginia points.
The Mountaineers will be off for the next six days, before traveling to Portland, Oregon, to face Purdue in the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament.
Photo by Aaron Parker, Blue Gold Sports