The media guide may say they're freshmen, but Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter played like anything but in the West Virginia Mountaineers 70-66 victory over the Boston College Eagles on Friday night.
With 3:42 to go and the Mountaineers holding a two point lead, Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Juwan Staten picked up his fifth foul. But Carter and Miles, with some help from Devin Williams & Gary Browne, kept things afloat as WVU (4-0) put away Boston College.
Both Miles and Carter showed great poise in their first big-time college minutes, each hitting a pair of threes in the second half as the Mountaineers were climbing back into the game after a sluggish first half. The pair combined for 25 points on the night.
Juwan Staten, Daxter Miles, Jaysean Paige, Jonathan Holton, and Devin Williams were the starters once again. Huggins did not expect to have a set starting lineup this season, but so far he's decided to go with those five guys in every game.
The story of the first half was the Mountaineers being unable (or unwilling) to pound the ball inside, which they were able to do so effectively last game. When they did get it inside, the shots weren't falling. Devin Williams and Elijah Macon were a combined 2-11 at halftime. Macon made some nice moves down low, but couldn't get anything to go down. WVU shot 26.9% for the half. The full-court pressure did not bother the Eagles anywhere near as much as the Mountaineers other opponents. BC also outrebounded WVU 16-14 and the Eagles led 32-21. Injured Mountaineer BillyDee Williams gave his opinion during the break:
I know Coach is fired up right now. They're going to pick it up this half i know it!— BillyDee Williams (@B_Do1o) November 21, 2014
That was a bit of foreshadowing, as WVU did pick it up and, despite foul trouble to Staten, Holton, and Williams, came away with the hard fought victory. It says a lot about the depth of this team to have maybe your three best players battling foul trouble all night, and having capable players to step up and continue to compete in their absence and come away with the four point win.
The Mountaineers had three players lead the way in scoring, as Jevon Carter, Devin Williams, and Juwan Staten all had 15. Foul trouble kept Williams from getting his 4th consecutive double-double, as he was only able to pull down 3 rebounds. Daxter Miles added 10 points and 6 rebounds. Jonathan Holton had 8 points and 5 rebounds. Gary Browne scored one point, but it was a crucial free throw to give WVU a two-possession lead in the final seconds.
Olivier Hanlan led Boston College with 23 points. Patrick Heckmann added 14.
More stats of note:
- WVU shot 40% from three, going 6-15.
- Although only winning the rebound battle 34-30, WVU doubled up BC on the offensive glass (20-10).
- Nathan Adrian continues to struggle shooting the ball. After going 1-12 in his first three games, he went 1-4 tonight.
- Another game, another double-digit steal effort for the Mountaineers. Ten more tonight.
- Devin Williams FT watch: 5-7 and a huge converted and 1 late to give WVU a 4 point lead in the final minute.
Next up, the Mountaineers will take on the defending national champion Connecticut Huskies in the finals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Although Shabazz Napier moved on to the NBA, the Huskies still have a very good team. They're led this year by Ryan Boatright (remember him?). The game will tip at 6:30 and will be televised by ESPN2.