MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Daxter Miles poured in a career-high 32 points and No. 24 West Virginia overwhelmed Morgan State 111-48 on Saturday night.
“I know a lot of people at Morgan State,” said Miles, a senior from Baltimore. “I like Morgan State. All my friends went there.”
Jevon Carter added 16 points, five assists and four steals for the Mountaineers (2-1), who took command with a 33-1 run during an 8-minute stretch of the first half.
“Press Virginia” forced 27 turnovers, allowed only 18 baskets and dominated the rebounding 49-29.
“Even if we missed all out shots, we were going to make sure we had energy on the defensive end,” Carter said.
Martel Cameron and LaPr McCray-Pace scored 10 each for Morgan State (2-2), which despite upsetting South Florida last week, couldn’t keep this one competitive.
The Bears led briefly at 3-2, long forgotten by the time Miles’ layup gave West Virginia a 50-8 edge with 5:13 left in the half.
After shooting 66 percent in the first half, the Mountaineers tailed off to 58 percent overall as the bench cleared in the second half.
Morgan State finished shooting 32 percent, including 2-of-13 by Phillip Carr, the MEAC preseason player of the year.
“They couldn’t make a pass,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins. “There was one possession where their center dribbled the ball for about 20 seconds because no one else could get open. That’s how we want to play: We want to to force them high, keep it on one side of the floor and make the guys that they don’t want to dribble dribble.”
Miles made 12-of-15 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, as West Virginia enjoyed its largest margin of victory since 2007.
“I just tried to stay aggressive,” said Miles, who has averaged 26 points in the two games since going 1-of-6 against Texas A&M. “I don’t even remember that game. Forget it. Short-term memory.”
Huggins hopes Miles remembers how much better past players have performed when they committed to extra individual work in the gym.
“This is the best I’ve seen Dax,” Huggins said. “We’ve just got to keep him doing it. His problem has always been consistency.”
“You hope he’s grown up. This is a repetitious game. You’ve got to have reps over and over and over. You don’t have to kill yourself, but you have to go in and work on your mechanics.”
Beetle Bolden finished with 13 points and freshman Teddy Allen added 10, part of West Virginia’s 41-16 edge in bench scoring.
Even when the West Virginia reserves didn’t make their shots, they donated in other ways. Seldom-used sophomore Chase Harler shot 1-of-5 but dished out a career-high seven assists.