Konate, Harler Lead WVU Past Long Beach State
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–West Virginia improved to 3-1 on the season with a comfortable 91-62 victory over Long Beach State Monday night at the WVU Coliseum.
Though 49ers (2-2) jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the first three minutes, the home club responded with a 28-10 run over the next 11 minutes. Another WVU spurt to close the first half, this one of the 10-1 variety, provided the Mountaineers with a 47-30 lead heading into the lockerroom at the midway point.
Two West Virginia sophomores used the first half to eclipse career highs. Center Sagaba Kanote pumped in 14 points to top the 13 he had last year against TCU. And guard Chase Harler reached double figures for the first time in his career and quickly pushed right past that, scoring 15 points in the first 20 minutes, as he hit four-of-five three-point attempts. He made just four three-point field goals all last season to go along with 23 points through the entire 2016-17 campaign. Daxter Miles, who scored a career-high 32 points in Saturday’s win over Morgan State, didn’t reach the scoring column in the first half on Monday, though he did get a couple buckets in the second half.
The 49ers did cut lead to 15 in the early portion of that second period, though WVU never was in any danger. It quickly pushed the margin back over 20 and cruised from there.
Konate remained a force on both the offensive and defensive ends throughout, finishing with 20 points, two blocks and seemingly a dozen altered LBS shots. Lamont West also hit plenty of shots, scoring 22 as he made five-of-10 three-point attempts. Jevon Carter added 13 for the Mountaineers, and Harler ended up with 14.
Gabe Levin topped all Long Beach scorers with 23 points
The 49ers started the season with wins over San Francisco (83-71) and Stan Francisco State (95-70) before losing this past Saturday at Oregon State (89-21). LBS is coached by Dan Monson, who is in his 11th season as the head coach for The Beach. He previously had spent 11 seasons at Gonzaga, and was the head coach at Minnesota from 1999-2007. He is 172-160 in his time at Long Beach. Dan Monson is the son of long-time college coach Don Monson, who among his many stops was the head coach at Oregon from 1983-92.
West Virginia now heads to Orlando where it will play three games in the AdvoCare Invitational. First up will be an 8:30 p.m. contest against Marist on Thursday, followed by a Friday clash with either Nebraska or UCF at 5:00 or 7:30 p.m. After taking Saturday off, WVU will play its final game in Orlando on Sunday.