CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Devin Williams grimaced while retreating on defense, stiffly bending with an aching back in full flare-up. Meanwhile Brandon Watkins greeted his first college start with a swollen mouth.

Yes West Virginia had an easy time disposing of William & Mary 82-45, but this was a hard week for the Mountaineers’ big men.

Boxscore: West Virginia 82, William & Mary 45

Williams’ sore back—the side-effect of a lengthy bus ride back from his hometown Cincinnati after Christmas—limited the 6-foot-8 freshman to a season-low 13 minutes. He produced four points and six rebounds, clearly lacking his usual agility.

“He rode the Greyhound for 8 1/2 hours,” said coach Bob Huggins. “You can imagine being 6-foot-9 and 260 pounds and trying to get comfortable. He was kind of twisted.”

As for Watkins, the 6-9 freshman who showed flashes of promise in two games preceding the holiday break, lost two front teeth during a practice collision this week.

“He went over to the dental school and they did whatever you do, but he came back and finished practice,” Huggins said. “Some guys would drag it out the rest of practice, but he jumped right back in there.”

Watkins generated two points and four rebounds in 11 minutes.

Blood streamed from Nathan Adrian’s nose after he fouled Omar Prewitt and caught an inadvertent elbow to the schnoz. Yet even as the freshman sat out the final 7 minutes of the opening half, Huggins said he had no doubt Adrian would return.

“I’m coming off at halftime and the question is, ‘What are you going to do without Nate Adrian?’ And I said Nate’s going to play. Nate’s a rough guy,” Huggins said. “They’ve heard my lecture more than once about the difference in playing injured and playing hurt.”

William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton suffered through a putrid 3-of-16 shooting day and managed only nine points, which was more than 10 below his season average. The junior had not been held to single-digits scoring since February of his freshman year, a string of 42 games.

Thornton was only 1-of-8 from 3-point range, as William & Mary made 6-of-25 overall.

“I’m not pleased at all with our performance. I’m really surprised and disappointed,” said Tribe coach Tony Shaver. “We shot the ball really poorly … and I think that compounded the problem for us a little bit. Right now, how well we play offensively sort of dictates how we play defensively. We’ve got to turn that around.”

Rusthoven scored 13 points to lead William & Mary, which shot just 25 percent overall.

“We let their pressure take us out of our game,” Rusthoven said. “They were tougher than us today. They’re a good team, but we didn’t play our best either.”

West Virginia’s Eron Harris scored 10 points and finished 0-of-3 on 3s, only the second time this season he failed to make a shot from long distance. … The hot-and-cold season of Gary Browne continued: He was 1-of-8 shooting overall and 0-of-4 from 3-point range. … WVU shot 49 percent overall, a few points better than its season average of 46.6. The 14-of-15 performance on free throws set a season-high for accuracy, yet the Mountaineers still rank 282nd nationally (and last in the Big 12) in percentage of points from the foul line.

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  • William

    And I especially love that sweatsuit.

  • William

    I love Bobby Huggins!

  • squad

    stick with em as all these things are falling into place...and by next fall, no-one will want to play them. I have said this over and over and will say it again now: We will WIN the Big12 in 2014-15. Yes, WIN it...and in the meanwhile we are going to give them all fits by seasons end THIS year.


      I suppose by your comment, we can take this prediction of yours about our Mountaineers all the way to the Bank, for next year's team ! Right ?

  • Big Red

    I love the Mountaineers. I'm certainly not thrilled with where the program is right now, but it's headed in the right direction. This year will be a step forward after a horrible year last year. Let's hope it continues.

  • Steve

    I guess the top schools non conference scheduling is better If you look around and knew ANYTHING about NCAA basketball, pretty normal scheduling. Huggs is a good coach and is doing good job with what he has. Larry and his buddies live in a dream world. The Mounties have always had to work hard and get the right bounces to win. Catlett, Coach " B " both had some good years but it is always tough. 20 wins is not easy. The players are different in every league. I think Larry should go into coaching, scheduling, and playing. I bet he would be an All Amercan candidate. Larry get real.

  • Gary

    Does anyone know what TV station will carry the Big 12 Network games in the Charleston WV area?

    • Just Passing Through

      @ Gary WVU on television for basketball appears to be all screwed up... The first game will be televised with TCU is on Channel 30 in the Charleston area, and far as I can tell the TTGame is not on TV back here yet. Hoping someone will pick it up, hopefully root sports will get it... If I find out between now and January 6 I will post it...

      • Joe

        Gary...the TTech game will stream live on

  • wvu1983

    Hey William I am glade to be a WVU fan and I AM LOVING IT. you are the biggest joke on here. you should be banned from all WVU post.

  • shawn

    But remember we arent getting to the line as much as other teams either. 22 times a game compared to almost 31 for Texas.

    • William

      What a sad time to be a WVU fan. How bad is it when you have to schedule these terrible non-conf. teams just to pad the win column.
      What a failure, no a big failure "Sweatsuit Huggins has been!
      Look at the average Home Coliseum Attendance under "Sweatsuit Huggins" -

      2010 -12,377
      2011 -11,469
      2012 - 9,930
      2013 - 8,752
      2014 - 5,989

      I guess all the players that LEFT the team aren't the only ones leaving!

      • shawn

        Yea that had nothing to do with what i said there genius. But i'll sit back and keep watching you look like a D*ck!

      • Hesa Dufuss

        Schedule Clown teams? ohh you mean like your BIG Marshall basketball victory over "Alice Lloyd Junior College" a couple weeks ago.

        What a damn powerhouse they were just like the rest of the teams theHerd will face this season.

        What a buffune this "Litte Richard" is

      • Joe many times is one of your other personalities going to post this comment?!

      • William

        I'M LOVIN' IT

        • I'm honest at least

          Back to the closet William dollar general should still have some sunscreen for you to eat.

        • Greg

          One thing you'll never associate this William with is a girl named Mary. I don't think he's discovered them yet. His infatuation with Huggs & Holgs wardrobe tends me to believe he spends more time looking at pictures of them than Megan Fox or Kate Upton.

  • justin

    william and mary is awful..

    • squad

      I don't think so at all. there are some awful teams in college. our defense made em look terrible..

    • Low Rider

      Tell that to Big 10 bound Rutgers!

  • 5toldU1s

    Go Mountaineers - beat TCU! Gotta win one before we can win two. Play our game, don't get ahead of ourselves, each player do what they do and don't try to win the game singlehandedly. Play a little defense, get a few 'bounds and have some fun.

  • wvtd

    on to the big 12. lets see what they are made of now that conference play begins. good luck mountaineers. I hope the free throws improve as they can not get much worse.

    • Aaron

      I think the state he may have been referring to was how often WVU players get to the line. It is that stat in which WVU ranks 282nd nationally.

      • Mister Man

        WVU was shooting over 70% from the foul line going in to the William and Mary game.

    • lacalman

      yes its hard to improve on 15 of 16 made free throws.

      • shawn

        Yea he blew me away with that comment. We shot pretty good yesterday.

        • wvtd

          overall not just this game dude. damn wake up.