Mountaineers Blow Past NJIT
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia raced away from NJIT Thursday night, scoring an easy 102-69 victory at the WVU Coliseum.
The win was the seventh straight for the Mountaineers, who are now 7-1 on the season. The Highlanders, who are located in Newark and are members of the Atlantic Sun Conference, fell to 4-3. Their only other game against a power conference opponent also resulted in a lopsided loss, 82-53 at Seton Hall.
On his way to a historical performance in terms of steals, WVU senior guard Jevon Carter also led West Virginia’s scoring effort with 25 points to go along with nine rebounds, six assists and five steals. Teddy Allen and Lamont West added 16 and 13 respectively for the Mountaineers. Beetle Bolden added 12, coming on a 4-of-5 shooting performance from three-point range, while Wesley Harris had 11.
Anthony Tarke topped NJIT’s score sheet with 13 points, while Diandre Wilson chipped in 12.
The Highlanders finished the game with 19 turnovers, becoming the first WVU foe since the opener to not accumulate at least 20 turnovers.
Like a number of early season Mountaineer opponents, NJIT forged a quick lead, though WVU never let the Highlanders get more than four points ahead. West Virginia went on top for good with 8:52 left in the first half on a layup by Daxter Milers. From there the Mountaineers outscored its visitors 31-14 to take a 49-33 lead into the lockerroom at the break.
WVU caused 11 NJIT turnovers in the first half, three of which came via steals by Carter. The last of those three Carter thefts, coming with 56 seconds left in the period, gave the Maywood, Ill., native 252 steals in his college career. That put him on top of West Virginia’s all-time theft list. Greg Jones (1980-83) had long held WVU’s steal record with 251.
Carter also added 16 points and four assists in the first half.
Holding a 16-point advantage at halftime, West Virginia started the second half with a 15-2 run to open up a 64-35 lead before the period was four minutes old, and the Mountaineers never looked back. Their lead grew as large as 37 later in the period before cruising to the victory.
WVU will now enjoy a rare weekend off, as it won’t play again until No. 18 Virginia (6-0) comes to the Coliseum on Tuesday.
West Virginia and UVA have evenly split their previous 18 meetings, which include a 66-57 WVU victory in Charlottesville last year and a 70-54 Virginia win at Madison Square Garden the season before. But this will be the first time the Cavaliers have visited Morgantown in 32 years, when Olden Polynice, Jimmy Miller and the Cavs left with a 56-55 victory over the Mountaineers in the first round of the 1985 NIT.