MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Behind a 46-4 edge in bench scoring, No. 11 West Virginia dominated Division II Wheeling Jesuit 98-50 during Saturday’s exhibition game.
Teddy Allen made all eight of his shots for a team-high 19 points, Lamont West and Wes Harris each scored 16, and De’Angelo Hunter added 12 for the Mountaineers, who coasted despite enjoying only a plus-two turnover margin.
Jevon Carter dished out seven assists in 23 minutes but didn’t attempt a shot, and Daxter Miles finished 3-of-6 from the floor as West Virginia’s leading scorers took understated roles.
“I didn’t say a word to JC and Dax,” Huggins said. “But they’re smart enough to know that we need those people in backup roles and we’ve got to figure out what they’re going to be able to do.”
West Virginia shot 57 percent overall and made 76 percent in the second half when it outscored the Cardinals 51-20.
Allen made 3-of-3 from beyond the 3-point arc, while West and Harris were each 2-of-3, helping WVU make 11-of-12 from deep.
The only moment of concern came early in the second half when Beetle Bolden crawled to the bench on a sprained left ankle. Huggins suggested the injury wasn’t serious, saying Bolden could probably “tape it up and go” during next week’s games against Coppin State and Fordham.
Haywood Highsmith led Wheeling Jesuit with 22 points and Jeremiah Wilson added 15, but the visitors missed their final 20 attempts from 3-point range and finished 2-of-31.
Sophomore 6-11 reserve Logan Routt grabbed 10 rebounds to forge West Virginia’s 49-32 edge. The former walk-on from Cameron scored seven points, missing out on a double-double because of 1-of-6 foul shooting.
“He normally shoots free throws better than that,” Huggins said.
Could Knapper return?
As West Virginia weathers the absence of Esa Ahmad — until his projected return from an NCAA suspension on Jan. 13 at Texas Tech — Huggins revealed fresh optimism over the prospect of Brandon Knapper playing this season.
The freshman point guard injured his meniscus during late August and was thought to be headed for a medical redshirt. In late September, Huggins reiterated Knapper appeared lost for the year. But Saturday brought this update:
“He’s doing some dummy stuff, but I don’t know,” Huggins said. “If we felt like he was going to come in and play substantial minutes, why would you redshirt him? We’re a sprained ankle away from not having a backup point guard, There’s just a lot of variables.”