Mountaineers Race Past Morgan State
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–There was no slow start in this one.
In its first home game of the basketball season last Wednesday, West Virginia won easily over American (98-64) but struggled for much of the first half.
There was no struggle on Saturday in home game number two, as the Mountaineers dominated the first 20 minutes. They opened up a 39-8 lead by the midway point of the initial period and cruised from there to a 111-48 victory. Only once in the past 20 years has WVU eclipsed that point total.
With the win WVU improved to 2-1 on the season, while Morgan State fell to 2-2. The Bears had defeated South Florida (63-53) and Lincoln (72-60) in their most recent games after starting their season with a 76-59 loss at Binghamton.
The Mountaineer lead ballooned to 59-20 by halftime, as they forced 15 turnovers from the visitors from Baltimore. WVU turned those Bear miscues into 25 first half points. Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter scored 15 and 11 points respectively in the first 20 minutes, as West Virginia’s senior guards combined to hit 10 of their 14 shots. Lapri McCray-Pace was the only Bear with more than four points at halftime, as he checked in with nine. The only negative for WVU in the first half came at the free throw line, where it hit just 6-of-12.
The second half proved to be more of the same. The period wasn’t seven minutes old when West Virginia’s lead expanded to 50, 78-28, and the only question at that point was the final margin.
Miles led all scorers with 32 points, which was his career high. He was 9-of-9 from inside the three-point arc and 3-of-6 from behind it. Jaysean Paige was the last Mountaineer to score at least 32 points, as he had 34 against Iowa State two years ago.
Carter added 16 Saturday night, as WVU shot 60.3 percent as a team. Beetle Bolden and Teddy Allen also reached double figures for West Virginia, finishing with 13 and 10 points respectively. Martez Cameron was the only Bear to reach double figures, as he had 10.
The Mountaineers return to action on Monday when they host Long Beach State in a 7:00 p.m. tip. Then West Virginia will leave for 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.