MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Juwan Staten’s 18 points helped West Virginia to a 94-69 victory over VMI Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum.
Staten was one of seven Mountaineer players and one of four starters to hit double digits – Deniz Kilicli and Aaric Murray (13) and Terry Henderson (10) also hit double figures. Henderson also contributed seven rebounds and handed out two assists.
“He’s going to be a really good player,” said Huggins of Henderson. “He shoots the ball well, he rebounds the ball for a guy his size, he’s got good bounce and he’s getting better defensively.”
“I thought we passed the ball better and we did a better job in transition and kind of looked up the floor,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “We’ve been trying to play faster and run and today I thought that’s the best job we’ve done really of pushing the ball.”
After trailing by five, 11-6, West Virginia used a 19-4 run over the next eight minutes to build its lead to 10, 25-15. Another 14-7 run during a four-minute stretch got the lead to 17 with 2:56 left and from there the only question was whether or not the Mountaineers could reach 100 points.
That appeared likely when two Browne free throws gave West Virginia 94 points with 3:57 left, but the Mountaineers failed to score for the remainder of the game as Huggins substituted freely.
West Virginia (2-3) shot 50 percent in the first half and finished the game 37 of 82 for 45.1 percent. However, the Mountaineers once again struggled from 3 hitting only 3 of 19, and were unsuccessful on several layup opportunities.
“We’re still missing way too many layups and shots around the goal,” Huggins said.
VMI also had a tough time shooting the basketball, hitting 37.3 percent overall and just 28.6 percent from 3 (8 of 28). The Mountaineers had a 52-44 advantage on the glass with Murray leading the way with nine.
“I thought our defense was good until the end,” said Huggins.
VMI (3-4) got 14 points from Stan Okoye and 12 from D.J. Covington.