MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Jonathan Holton produced 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 21 West Virginia put away College of Charleston 86-57 after a sluggish first half.
Even though the game moved Bob Huggins passed Rollie Massimino and Phog Allen for 14th on the NCAA career wins list, the coach wasn’t satisfied with a 38-29 halftime lead or College of Charleston’s 51-percent shooting.
Asked about the locker room atmosphere at the half, Huggins joked that “it was very calm, very instructive.”
West Virginia (7-0) outscored the Cougars 48-28 after the break, holding the visitors scoreless for a nine-minute stretch.
Jaysean Paige finished with 15 points and Juwan Staten scored 10 before an announced crowd of 7,367.
“We just didn’t have a lot of energy to start the game,” said Huggins. “But we stayed after them and I think we kind of just wore them down a little bit.”
Nathan Adrian contributed nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks off the bench in 17 minutes, while Elijah Macon added six points, five rebounds and two assists.
Jevon Carter, the 28-point star of Wednesday’s victory over VMI, shot 0-for-5 from the floor in 20 minutes.
“I just want to win. I don’t really care about set rotations,” Huggins said. “You just kind of throw guys in there, and the guys that play well will play longer, and the guys who don’t play well don’t play as long.”
Bailey Evan and Donovan Gilmore scored 13 each for the Cougars (2-4), who were outrebounded 41-25.
The margin swelled to 34 twice in the second half though West Virginia never turned hot from 3-point territory, making only 6-of-20. Instead, the Mountaineers did it with defense, making 12 steals and forcing College of Charleston into 18 turnovers
“In the second half we just said let’s go,” Huggins said. “Don’t let anyone get it in bounds, and if they get it in bounds make them get it in a bad position where we can put some pressure on them and hopefully make a play.”
West Virginia next faces LSU on Thursday night in the Big 12/SEC Challenge at the WVU Coliseum.