MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Beetle Bolden said he knew teammate Chase Harler would be open. Pretty good guess on this day, because everyone generally was.
“I didn’t have enough time to reach back, so I just whipped the pass behind my back to him,” Bolden said after scoring 15 points with five assists in West Virginia’s 106-72 victory against Youngstown State on Saturday.
Harler obliged by making the 3-pointer. There were a lot of those, too.
The Penguins (3-6) attempted 36 and made nine of them in coach Jerrod Calhoun’s return to the WVU Coliseum after being an assistant under Huggins from 2007-12.
It came within three of being the most 3s ever attempted in a game against the Mountaineers (5-2).
West Virginia connected on 11-of-32 from 3. During their four-game winning streak the Mountaineers have made 44 treys.
“As long as we get step-in 3s, they’re fine,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, who recorded his 850th career victory. “The one Sags [Konate] took at the end [of the first half] when he’s backing up; he’s not going to make it. He’s not going to get it over the rim.
“The one where Wes [Harris] is running one way and has to stop and turn around and he doesn’t get it over the rim. It’s that way with everybody. That’s what everybody strives to get, and the guys who can make shots as they’re turning or going full speed are the great scorers. We don’t have a great scorer.”
The Mountaineers didn’t have one great scorer against the Penguins — they had about eight pretty good ones.
“I thought they made shots,” said Calhoun. “They ended up making 11 3s. I think Beetle is their guy. I said something to him at the end there. I root for these guys. Obviously, they’re my favorite team other than my team. He has to be their leader.”
Bolden was simply one of the guys in this one. He and Esa Ahmad tied for the team-high with 15 points.
Konate, who missed Wednesday’s win over Rider with a sore knee, added an efficient 14 points and nine rebounds in just 17 minutes of action.
Harris and Brandon Knapper each scored 10 points and Harler and Logan Routt both finished with eight points.
For the walk-on Routt, it was his second strong performance off the bench. He’s scored 15 points and added 11 rebounds over the past two games.
All the production saw West Virginia shoot 54 percent from the field in what turned out to be a sort of tuneup for Tuesday’s showdown against Florida at Madison Square Garden.
“We have a lot of guys, who if they take the right shots, they’re going to make 3s,” Huggins said. “I talked to Chase the other day about getting the ball up a little more, because he was shooting it flat. But, we have guys who can make shots and we can spread the floor.”
It was the first time the Mountaineers broke the 100-point barrier this season and the second time Youngstown State gave up more than 100.
During its win streak West Virginia is averaging 95.8 points per game. Whether or not that style of play is what better suits the Mountaineers, Huggins said is still up for debate.
“I think it’s the state of our game. Nobody passes the ball very well,” Huggins said. “Everything is drive it, drive it, drive it. To a large degree, it’s because what they’ve done with the rules.
“We’re going more and more European, which I don’t understand. We invented the game. We wrote the rules for the game. We’ve been the best basketball country forever. Why would we want to be like them? They should want to be like us?”