For those of you who just couldn't miss that House Hunters rerun (or maybe something else), you missed a great performance by the West Virginia Mountaineers basketball team. If they play like this for the rest of the season, there won't be a question of whether they get into the NCAA tournament, but only how high of a seed they can claim.
West Virginia shot 50% (!!!!) in the first half, forced 16 turnovers, had 10 steals, and held a 53-27 lead.
It was more of the same in the second half, with West Virginia completely overpowering George Mason and picking up a 91-65 victory.
Bob Huggins went with the same starting five he has all season (Juwan Staten, Daxter Miles, Jaysean Paige, Jonathan Holton, Devin Williams). Elijah Macon made his return tonight, after missing Sunday's game due to his mother's illness. Head coach Bob Huggins earlier this week announced that she had passed away. What courage by Macon to play just a few days later to honor his mother.
Both Jonathan Holton and Devin Williams were absolute beasts in this game. Williams took a hard hit to the knee early in the second half, but was able to return. The big-to-big passing, by Williams, Adrian, and Holton specifically, was a thing of beauty. The Mountaineers got several easy buckets inside off of those great looks.
WVU's pressure defense is getting better with every game, and George Mason just had no answer for it. That resulted in plays like this:
Last year's team could not have done that.
And then there was this, an NBA-caliber baseline drive for the slam by Holton:
This guy is gonna be fun.
Devin Williams had yet another double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also added two steals. Jonathan Holton had 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. The comfortable lead allowed Juwan Staten to sit out most of the second half, but he was still able to manage 13 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Elijah Macon added 9 points and 3 rebounds.
George Mason was led by Patrick Holloway with 17 points. Shevon Thompson added 14.
More stats of note:
- West Virginia had their best shooting game by far, finishing at 44.4%.
- The Mountaineers forced 24 turnovers and had 16 steals.
- WVU won the battle of the boards 42-34. They had 18 offensive rebounds to George Mason's 9. Several of GMU's came in garbage time.
- George Mason took 32 free throws in this game. With the pressure defense comes a lot of fouls.
- Devin Williams FT watch: 6-8. Solid again.
Playing in Puerto Rico was a homecoming for senior Gary Browne. In front of friends & family, Browne had 9 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Tomorrow night, the Mountaineers will take on the Boston College Eagles (who defeated New Mexico) in the semifinals. The winner of that game will play the winner of Dayton/Connecticut in the championship on Sunday evening. The two losers will play in a consolation game on Sunday afternoon.