Despite a sometimes sluggish offensive effort that saw #24 West Virginia’s (3-1) three top scorers (Carter, Miles and Bolden) combine for just 20-points, the Mountaineers pulled away to a comfortable 91-62 win over Long Beach State (2-2) in their opening game of the Advocare Invitational.
Sophomore center Sagaba Konante made his presence known early, recording a career-high 14-points in the first half. He went on to finish with 20 points on 8-10 from the floor along with 7 rebound and game high four blocks. West Virginia also got an early spark from Chase Harler who hit two big three point baskets to jump start a lagging Mountaineer attack struggling with zone pressure from the 49’ers. Harler finished with a career-high 14 points. Joining them in double figures was Lamont West (22) and Jevon Carter (13).
For the third consecutive game, the Mountaineer defense forced 20 or more turnovers and held the 49’ers to just 37-percent from the floor. They also stymied Barry Ogalue, who had averaged 17.3 points per game shutting him out from the field and only allowing him 2 points from the free-throw line.
With the win, WVU improved to 4-0 all-time versus teams from the Big West Conference and 2-0 all-time versus Long Beach State. They previously met in 2009 in the first round of the 76 Classic in Anahiem, Ca when the Mountaineers cruised to an 85-62.
Up Next: WVU heads to Orlando for it’s second game in the Advocare Invitational, where they will take on Marist inside the HP Fieldhouse at Disney’s Wide World of Sports on Thanksgiving Day. Long Beach will face Missouri in Orlando.