WVU Eases To Exhibition Victory Over Wheeling Jesuit
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Saturday’s exhibition game was a chance for the Mountaineer basketball team to give its reserves valuable experience.
That was certainly accomplished, as West Virginia also secured a 98
-50 victory over Wheeling Jesuit at the WVU Coliseum.
Every Mountaineer saw at least 11 minutes of action, and all of them reached the scoring column.
The only real negative for WVU was the fact that sophomore guard Beetle Bolden had to be helped to the lockerroom with seven minutes left in the game with what appeared to be an ankle injury.
Though it was a day for reserves, starters Lamont West and Wes Harris did lead West Virginia’s point production in the early going, as each totaled 16 for the game. Teddy Allen led WVU’s reserve unit, scoring 19 himself. D’Angelo Hunter also got into double figures with 12 points.
Wheeling Jesuit’s 6-foot-7 senior Haywood Highsmith, who came to Morgantown averaging 23 points and 13 rebounds on the season, again reached double-double territory, scoring 22 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
WVU (9-1) will return to regular season action on Wednesday when it hosts Coppin State (0-11).
Choosing to experiment extensively in the exhibition game, Huggins had used all 11 Mountaineer players available before the game was six minutes old. The mix-and-match line up didn’t slow WVU much, as it held a 17-3 by that point. A short time later Wheeling Jesuit answered with a 7-0 run to trim West Virginia’s advantaged to 23-16. The Cardinals, a Division II program who are 8-2 on the season and currently in second place in Mountain East Conference, kept battling throughout the remainder of the first half, but WVU took a 47-30 lead into the lockerroom at the midway point.
Other than Maciej Bender, who was saddled with three quick fouls and didn’t score in three minutes of action in the opening half, every other Mountaineer played at least six minutes and found their way onto the score sheet in the first 20 minutes. WVU’s leading scorer on the season, Jevon Carter, made a couple of foul shots, but other than that he did not make or attempt a shot from the floor, as the senior was content to distribute (three assists) and play defense. He helped West Virginia, which is 9-1 on the season, force 11 Jesuit first half turnovers.
Carter didn’t try any shots in the second half either, passing up numerous opportunities. He instead chose to pass and finished with a game-high seven assists.
The Mountaineers opened the second half with a 12-2 streak to pretty much lock down the outcome, but this was more about teaching for Huggins than it was victory.
His club employed a 1-3-1 zone for extensive periods in the second half, and WVU’s head coach spent many moments pointing his charges to correct spots in various offensive and defensive sets.