MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (AP) — Seven West Virginia players scored in double figures as the Mountaineers pounded Bethune-Cookman 97-44 Monday night at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.
The Mountaineers (4-0) and Wildcats (2-2) were playing in the second round of the tournament, which moves to Las Vegas Thursday for the next round.
West Virginia’s Devin Williams (12 points, 10 rebounds) recorded his fourth double-double in as many games, but received plenty of support. Elijah Macon added 13 points and 10 rebounds and Jonathan Holton had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
“(The double-double) feels good,” said Williams, “I have to get in here too long to continue doing what I’ve been doing. Basically, that’s gotten me to where I am. I’m just coming in early and staying late to get my shots.”
Jevon Carter, Daxter Miles Jr., and Jaysean Paige each had 14 points, and Teyvon Myers added 10.
It marked the first time since Nov. 28, 2012 against VMI that seven Mountaineers scored in double digits. In that game Juwan Staten, Aaric Murray, Deniz Kilicli, Gary Browne, Keaton Miles, Terry Henderson and Eron Harris all scored in double figures.
The 53-point margin was the widest yet for a Mountaineer team that had beaten its first three opponents by an average of 33 points each.
Although the Mountaineers shot 52 percent from the floor (36 of 69) and 33 percent from the 3-point line (8 of 24), they dominated rebounding, hauling down 50 boards to the Wildcats’ 28. The offensive rebound total was 18-11 in favor of the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers forced 30 turnovers out of the Wildcats, while giving the ball away 16 times.
“We finished better in the second half than we did in the first half,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins. “The hard thing about us playing, during the season, you rely on the press so much, but we’re going to find people who don’t turn it over.”
Bethune-Cookman coach Gravelle Craig said he was ready to move on after the loss.
“You got a couple of games a year that, you know, you don’t even watch,” he said. “You don’t know who the team is. They pressured us in the turnovers. That’s what pressure does. It speeds you up. Trying to prepare for it is tough.
Holton was 4 of 6, freshman Esa Ahmad was 4 of 7, Williams was 5 of 9, Paige was 5 of 10 and Macon was 6 of 8 from the field. Macon has made 19 of 25 field goals on the season.
Bethune-Cookman connected on 8 of 24 3-pointers compared with 5 of 27 for West Virginia. . Jordan Potts and Randy Holmes and Randy Holmes each grabbed six rebounds.
BUILDING ON A LEGEND
The Mountaineers have been under the tutelage of 34-year coaching veteran Bob Huggins for the last nine years. Huggins is the fourth-winningest active coach with 769 wins in Division I. He is 10 victories shy of tying Lou Henson’s record for No. 12 on the all-time list. . WVU is 93-28 in the WVU Coliseum under Huggins.
West Virginia plays Richmond Thursday in Las Vegas. It’s the Mountaineers’ third game in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. The Spiders defeated Bethune-Cookman 89-64 Saturday.
Bethune-Cookman will take on Stetson, also on Thanksgiving, in the same tournament. Both schools are located in Volusia County, Florida, but will meet 2,000 miles from home. The Mountaineers defeated the Hatters 103-62 on Friday.