MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The first leg of the Cancun Challenge wasn’t much of a challenge for West Virginia.

Point guard Juwan Staten reached the 20-point mark for the third time this season and WVU hit triple digits for the first time in 206 games dating back to November 2007. In crushing Georgia Southern 101-68, the Mountaineers unleashed their transition game and shared the ball enough to land five players in double figures.

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Juwan Staten produced 20 points and nine assists in West Virginia’s 101-68 win over Georgia Southern.

“It definitely felt good seeing 100 points on the board,” said Staten, who contributed nine assists. “Last season it felt good to see 70 on the board.”

Boxscore: WVU-Georgia Southern

West Virginia (3-1) could make last season a rogue memory with more outbursts like Thursday’s. Staten had nine points to fuel a 13-0 start in the first 4 minutes and the Mountaineers led 34-10 at the second media timeout.

This one became a knockout even before the lead swelled to 55-26 at halftime.

“It seemed like when anybody got a look they made it,” said coach Mark Byington, whose Eagles (2-2) were hoping to spring an upset after falling by only one point in overtime at Miami.

“Hats off to West Virginia. They had a great energy on defense by attacking and being aggressive. I felt like we did not respond to the initial punch. They came out and caught us.”

Photo gallery: WVU-Georgia Southern

Staten had 14 points by intermission, none more monumental than his 3-pointer at the 12:31 mark—his first 3 since Feb. 16, 2011, when he was a freshman at Dayton. He had missed 13 consecutive 3-point attempts since the, including 0-of-8 last season.

“That 3 probably meant a little bit more to everybody else than it did to me, because it’s something I hear about on a daily basis,” Staten joked. “But in practice I shoot them when they’re open.”

While Staten does most of his damage driving to the basket and pulling up for mid-range jumpers, WVU coach Bob Huggins sensed during warmups the point guard might soon knock down an open 3.

“Before the game he made 13 in a row and 17 out of 18, and then I quit counting,” Huggins said. “He told me before the game, ‘I just want to make one so these people will get off my back.’”

Terry Henderson, back from a shin injury, was 2-of-3 from long range on his way to 16 points. Gary Browne, trying to play through a thigh bruise, sank 3-of-5 from the 3-point line and scored 11—helping WVU to a 41-17 edge in bench scoring.

Devin Williams added 16 points and seven rebounds, though his 2-of-7 foul shooting dipped his season rate to only 44 percent. Eron Harris scored 15 on 6-of-11 shooting.

The 100-point mark seemed assured when WVU led 92-53 with 6:07 left after Staten’s behind-the-back feed led to Henderson’s dunk. But it took a basket by Kevin Noreen with 25 seconds left to delight the small Coliseum crowd. WVU had not scored 100 since defeating Maryland-Eastern Shore 110-44 on Nov. 27 2007.

“Easy buckets are something we need to get,” Staten said. “Last year we made every basket a hard basket and that’s why we only won 13 games.

“Tonight it might have been a little easier than it will be against better teams, but I’m please to see we’re taking a step in the right direction.”

Tre Bussey scored 21 to lead Geogia Southern, which shot 27 percent in the opening half and 55 percent the rest of the way. Jelani Hewitt, ewho came in averaging 25, scored 12 in the second half to finish with 15 points.

DEFENSIVE DEFICIENCIES
Huggins has plenty of teaching points to cover as WVU prepares to face Presbyterian on Saturday in another stateside preliminary of the Cancun Challenge. The tournament shifts to Mexico next Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The defense improved the first half, but we didn’t guard as hard the second half obviously,” Huggins said.

“They (Georgia Southern) run the same deal and get the same guy open in the corner four times in a row. That should never happen. They run a great set and get it once, maybe they get it on you twice. But, come on, the third time and you still don’t make a rotation? Much less a fourth time.”

 

 


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Comments

  • jdubindatub

    Is the game Saturday televised?

  • william

    Bob Huggins and staff are fantastic. These kids are working hard, following the lead and game planning of coach Huggins.

    With these hard working young men and our great coaching staff I think we will surprise a few teams in the Big 12 this season, and should win the games we should win. I also think we will knock off either Purdue or Gonzaga.

    Thank You Coach Huggins and Staff --- It is a Great Day to Be a Mountaineer.

  • JC

    I live in the EP. No comcast.

  • Big Larry

    Just for the record, I could care less if Marshall University ever wins another Basketball game. The Marshall Athletic Department is even in worse shape than that of WVU...

    Call me a Kentucky Wildcat fan....

    • GoEers

      Too late Big Larry...you are already a marshall fan as you had stated this summer...actually you are the worst kind of fan there...have fun watching Marshall's pathetic basketball team, its over paid coach, and its do no nothing AD.

      Kentucky fan? I doubt they would want you.

  • chasmo

    JC if you have COMCAST , channel 843 , ROOTS , or 33 .. C"MON Man

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    the mountaineers looked like a team last night
    i see great potential, shut up little larry and little william, you both are rediculous

  • JC

    It would be nice to at least hear the games! For those in the the Eastern Panhandle there is one am radio station with what seems to be a one square block reach.

    • WVcoal

      With the Direct TV sports package, you should be able to get the ROOTSports Network. I think all WVU's games have been televised so far this year, even the exhibition game with Fairmont was on ROOT. Call and ask the Direct TV folks first though, to make sure it's available in your area.

  • Ray

    The only thing that the guards need to do is to take what the defense gives them ie the va tech was lost because the guards didn't kick the ball out when they drove the lane and it was not there. But all in this was a good showing I am very impressed with this years team. If they work on their rebounding and their decision making they have the potential to win it all.

  • J.R.

    Is it just me or does "Big Larry" sound like a product of a couple of those creatures from the "Wrong Turn" movies???

    It is really said when the only life someone has is to spend all day bashing the State University while waiting on his next government check so he can go to the bar.

    If I was a real Marshall fan I would be embarrassed to have "Big Larry" a part of Herd Nation because he comes off like such a buffoon

    J.R.

    • Big Larry

      Its just you...

      • Greg

        Not it's not just him. Pretty much everyone who reads your "posts" thinks so too. Doesn't take much to figure you out.

  • WVcoal

    In response to Big Larry....
    What we've got here is a basketball TEAM. A TEAM... Larry. This year's group has promise and potential -- they appear to be more thant just a group of individuals who perform as such.
    Let's Go Mounties!

  • Big Larry

    One thing I have learned in life is that people feel one or two ways about me...

    1) People love to hate me...

    or

    2) People hate to love me

    I guess that is what happens when you are truthful and tell it like it is...

    • J the C

      No, big mouth Larry, that's incorrect. People either hate you or they hate you.

    • GoEers

      You're a Marshall fan...you're favorite team just recently lost games against basketball powerhouses Morehead State and Stephen f. Austin.

      You probably should start worrying about Coach Heroin and your do nothing AD.

    • WVcoal

      Larry...you wouldn't know what "IT" was even if "IT" jumped on your face and started wiggling around.

  • chad

    Last night I heard the play by play man say "everything is going right for the Mountaineers". I told my wife I haven't heard that said in a long long time.
    I agree it appears as though these guys like each other and are playing for each other as a TEAM.

  • JoeG

    We came out and did what we were suppose to. I feel like this could be a good year. Mountaineers!

  • GFS

    Sure would like to see our team play. Feel like I'm back in the 70's or 80's no broadcasts. I don't know this Roots Sports, but their coverage stinks. Strange though. It looks like if I lived in Washington state, I could see our games. I guess this is another Ollie wonderful profit maker. Are we wearing blue and gold uniforms. I wouldn't know. With our new uniform contracts you never can tell what we will show up wearing.

    • J the C

      GFS, go back to the Southern Conference.

    • Chet Ubetcha

      You must not be trying very hard, I have streamed every game online. Feed2all.eu or first row sports you can watch any game for free. Plus root sports is available everywhere, maybe you should complain less about Luck making money for the university, and look a little harder for coverage.

      • Greg

        You just have to have the Directv sports package to see the games. I see every game on Root Sports Pittsburgh even though I live in NC. Even the Fairmont State exhibition game. These by the way I'd have never had the chance to see without the third tier package Luck put together. Lets no be so quick to criticize people. Pay the extra 6 bucks a month to your cable provider.

    • chad

      You obviously have internet capability, use it. I live in up state New York and i've watched every game on Root Sports online for free except for St. Mary's and Fairmont State.

  • dallenfive

    For me it was good to see what good, or decent teams are supposed to do to an inferior or an opponent perceived to be beneath your skill level, blow them out. I would have been concerned and still not completely sold on the potential year they're going to have; if we would have only scored 60 and it was close. Just my humble opinion.