"Press Virginia" was in high functioning mode today as WVU used a strong second half start to dominate the Hokies of Virginia Tech 88-63 in front of a sell out crowd in Blacksburg. The Mountaineers (11-1) started the second half on a 13-3 run, extending their halftime lead to 20 points when VaTech (8-5) called time out at the 16:30 mark. The Mountaineers would never relinquish a double-digit lead.
WVU started the game with an advantage given that Tech Freshman Chris Clarke (who was averaging 10.5 points per game) was sidelined after breaking a bone in his right foot. Javon Carter led all WVU scorers with 18 points on 8 of 10 shooting. Jonathan Holton posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The good guys continue to get great bench play from Jaysean Paige, whose 17 points made this game his seventh in double figures in the last twelve games. Tarik Phillip also scored 12 points off the bench, and the improving play of Elijah Macon is energizing WVU – he tallied nine points, four rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Mounties played with great passion and fire, forcing 22 turnovers – reaching their nation leading average. They also posted a terrific FG percentage of 51% on 31-61 shooting – pretty incredible since they got 23 more shots at the basket than the Hokies.
Never content with the team’s performance, Coach Huggins stated post-game, "We played extremely well at times and extremely bad at times. But these are really good guys. They play hard." Huggs knows that the Big 12 schedule ahead is going to require greater focus on each and every possession.
WVU heads to Kansas State for its first Big 12 contest in Manhattan, KS this Saturday.
- Sophomore Javon Carter is turning into a premier BIG 12 guard.
- WVU’s crowd presence on the road in Blacksburg was awesome!
- Great bench play: Jaysean Paige 6th man of the year & Elijah Macon is playing with confidence
- Sloppy play in the middle of each half – no field goals for a 5:00 minute stretch and still some foolish fouls for seemingly no good reason.
- Jonathan Holton still finds himself in foul trouble too early – although Huggs was happy that he capped his foul total at 3 for this game.
- Nathan Adrian’s shooting touch has still not returned from his freshman year.
Virginia Tech’s colors. That ugly shade of neon orange and off brand maroon is just unpleasing to the eye - almost as unpleasant as "Enter Sandman" is to a football pregame routine.