MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Less than 24 hours before it was scheduled to board a plane for Cancun, West Virginia made sure to take care of its last piece of business at home.

Behind 19 points from Eron Harris, a double-double by Devin Williams and another all-around productive game from Juwan Staten, the Mountaineers pummeled Presbyterian 88-55 before a crowd of 5,067 at the WVU Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.

West Virginia (4-1) put the game away with a 28-6 run over the final 10 minutes of the opening half to lead 48-22.

“We have more guys who can make shots—it’s really pretty simple,” said coach Bob Huggins. “You look like a good offensive coach whenever the ball goes in.”

Boxscore: West Virginia 88, Presbyterian 55

For the second straight game West Virginia led wire-to-wire, building the margin to 39 points in the second half. Huggins had his team experiment with a halfcourt trap and 1-3-1 zone during portions of the blowout.

“This game was about us working on us and us getting better,” Huggins said.

“I kinda like this. I don’t know why I’m playing Purdue and Gonzaga and all them other people. I kinda like this—it’s a little more relaxing sitting over there.”

Photo gallery: West Virginia rolls to 4-1

Presbyterian coach Gregg Nibert offered high postgame praise for WVU’s backcourt.

“We tried to do everything we could to try to stop Juwan Staten and Eron Harris, and despite our attempts they were still 7-of-10 and 7-of-15,” Nibert said. “They are two tremendous guards that could be top two at their position in the country, in terms of how they complement each other.”

Staten finished with 16 points, seven assists and zero turnovers. The junior point guard now has 38 assists against only four turnovers all season—a differential that could loom large with stiffer opposition awaiting in Cancun next week. WVU meets Old Dominion in Tuesday’s semifinal before facing either Wisconsin or St. Louis on Wednesday.

“We’re talking about the schedule down there (in Cancun) and what they need to bring, and Juwan Staten says, ‘Listen—this isn’t a vacation. This is a business trip.’ We haven’t had that in a while,” Huggins said.

Remi Dibo made 4-of-8 from 3-point range and added 14 points, and Williams produced 11 points and 11 rebounds, helping WVU to a 40-28 rebounding edge.

Jordan Downing led Presbyterian (1-5) with 18 points, but the Blue Hose shot 39 percent and committed 19 turnovers to West Virginia’s nine.

“Their defense, combined with our quick shots, really took us out of the game,” Nibert said. “(Huggins) has a heck of a team. My hat’s off to them. I think they will be nationally ranked sooner rather than later.”

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Comments

  • Barry

    Before everyone gets too excited remember we just "hosed" a 1-5 team. If anything is apparent about the comments on this site (including my own) it is that our highs are too high and our lows are too low. We still have not played a quality opponent yet. That being said, I really like the look of the team and see alot of potential.

    • Mike

      Just wish we had a couple more big board-bangers. Only thing missing.

  • Dave

    I realize it's still early but I see great potential with this team as long as they stay healthy. Thank you Coach Huggins for "fixin it". Thank you Mountaineers for working hard and playing team ball. Sure looks like that new practice facility is paying dividends. Keep it up team and let's go win us a tournament down in Mexico.

    LET'S GOOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS !!!!!

  • leroy j gibbs

    This is what a hof coach does. He fixes it

  • Joe

    Quick question to Allan and rest....how do the new defensive rules impact our style of play? Can we correllate the new rules with our significantly improved scoring?

    Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    Joe

    • J the C

      Joe, I think it will obviously hurt us, given the aggressive style that Hugs wants our boys to assume. This will be felt especially underneath, given that we don't have many big guys. Because this is a subjective thing, my bet is that the officials will back off if it slows down the game too much.

      • squad

        that makes it guard oriented and drive and dish.. what do you think harris staten do well?? it DISFAVORES SIZE

  • Grant

    Hard to judge just how good this team is given the schedule this far. However, I think it is clear that this is a MUCH better shooting team, and it appears to be a much more mature one as well.

  • PhotoBoothe

    Nothing speculative about this team passing and shooting light-years better than WVU did the last two years. Looks like an NCAA caliber team even if TC and the Sportsline gurus won't say that yet.
    Agreed with Mike, if they had the other two players for depth there's no telling how far this team could go.
    Disagree with Hip, I love the headline. Hopefully we'll Badger Wisconsin after we Crown Old Dominion. Here's to collaring the (Gonzaga) Bulldogs too!
    Besides, when it's this cold out, all the "Hoes" are "Blue..."

  • Duane from Morgantown

    Does anyone else notice there are less comments when we win???? It seems our so called fans only like to gripe and complain. Get on the bandwagon and stay on, or get off for good! By far the most fun team to watch in the Huggs era. Hope they continue to play this way.

    • OKANYDAY

      Well, since you brought it up; I wouldn't brag too much on this win ! Seems like we brag a lot when WVU blows out a team with a 1-5 record !

  • Big Larry

    Did Huggins..."Fix It" ???

  • J the C

    Last year, we would have struggled against this competition. I should point out that Georgia Southern were no cupcakes...ask the Hurricanes. Finally, Dennis, while I agree with you, what about next year. We have NO seniors on this squad.

  • Hop'sHip

    Won't know if this is fool's gold until the competition strengthens. I do nominate this as worst headline of the month. Hoses? Does this mean we might "crown" Old Dominion?

  • big tom

    it's simple, there difference from this yr's bb team and lasts is two rotten apples,, namely kilicili and murray,,,,, both poisoned the team and destroyed the team atmosphere,which led to a terrible season.

  • Mike

    Maybe Huggins has fixed it. Better competition will tell us. If he had Holton and Macon, he'd have EERS back in the national media for sure.

    • Say What?

      You are speculating, Mike.

      • Uhavebeardenvy

        And this isn't a court of law skippy . Mike you hit the nail on the head with Macon and Holton we are really scary

        • Joe

          The few truly in the know with the program that Holton on the court takes us to the sweet 16!

          • Barry

            Just like Murry 2 years ago..... right.

  • leroy j gibbs

    Great potential!
    Let's go mountaineers!

  • Greg

    I know the haters on here don't want to hear this, but I think Huggs is "fixing it". Comparing this team against last year's against like competition, its day and night difference. Good job TEAM.

  • Dennis

    If this team stays focused on the task at hand and maintains their chemistry and hard work, they will have a chance to be special by tournament time.

    • William101

      Glad to see most of the trolls are quiet. It's a rebuilding season, but it's obvious there is improvement. Our team is fun to watch. Going into the holidays, it's nice to have a team that brings optimism. Win or lose, the team is going to play hard, and if shots are falling, we should be a tough out.