MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - At halftime, the only question West Virginia fans had about tonight’s game against Georgia Southern was whether or not the Mountaineers would reach 100 points.
Well, Kevin Noreen
took care of that with 25 seconds left when he dropped in a layup to help West Virginia to a 101-68 victory over the Eagles Thursday night at the WVU Coliseum as part of the Triple Crown College Sports Cancun Challenge.
West Virginia (3-1) will continue the Cancun Challenge on Saturday afternoon against Presbyterian at the Coliseum before heading to Mexico over Thanksgiving break to play games against Old Dominion on Wednesday evening and then either Wisconsin or St. Louis on Thursday. Both games will be televised nationally on the CBS College Sports Network.
Tonight, the Mountaineers got 20 points and nine assists from Juwan Staten
, who also knocked down his first career 3 in the first half. Last year, Staten was 0 for 9 from behind the arc. Staten has really played well through the four games so far this year, totaling 80 points and 31 assists while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor.
“I said all along that Juwan Staten
is our most improved player and to this point in the season he is certainly our most valuable player,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “You can’t press him. He’s too quick, he’s too strong and he makes pretty good decisions with the ball.”
Browne, who did not play in last Sunday’s win over Duquesne because of a deep thigh bruise, hobbled off the floor late in the second half and went to the locker room.
“We’ve got to get Gary healthy,” said Huggins.
West Virginia shot 56.3 percent from the floor (40 of 71), including 10 of 26 from 3.
“We shot the ball pretty well,” said Huggins. “We shoot it that well we are going to have a chance against most folks, I would think.”
It was the first time the Mountaineers hit the century mark in six years, and it was the third time it has happened under Huggins. The other two occasions came in Huggins’ first season at West Virginia in 2007-08.
Georgia Southern, which nearly upset Miami 10 days ago, drops to 2-2. The Eagles got 21 points from Tre Bussey and 15 from Jelani Hewitt.
The Eagles were 8 of 31 from 3 and made only 10 of 24 from the line.
“If there was one disappointing thing it was we didn’t guard in the second half,” said Huggins. “We can’t do that. We’ve got to guard for the whole game because we are not going to make shots the whole game.”
Saturday’s Presbyterian game will tip off at 1:30 pm and will be televised on West Virginia Media affiliates throughout the Mountain State.