Mountaineers make it look easy at Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Jevon Carter scored 11 of his 18 points during a six-minute stretch to open the second half when No. 19 West Virginia seized command of an 88-63 win at Virginia Tech on Wednesday.

Sixth man Jaysean Paige scored 17 and Jonathan Holton contributed 12 points and 13 rebounds for West Virginia (11-1), which opened a three-game road trip that now stretches into Big 12 conference play.

Shane Henry scored 12 points off the bench for Virginia Tech (8-5), playing its first game without freshman forward Chris Clarke, who averaged 10.5 points and 7.4 rebounds before suffering a broken foot last week.

Among the nearly 10,000 in attendance, West Virginia had plenty of gold-and-blue supporters.

Leading 46-36 at the break, West Virginia came out on a 21-7 run and the Hokies were unable to make the game competitive by making only six field goals in the second half.

“We went zone in the second half because (Virginia Tech) pretty much decided to put their head down, drive it hard to the basket and get fouled,” said Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins.

Carter, playing on a tender ankle he injured in Tuesday’s practice, made 8-of-10 shots before going to the bench for the final 8:05 after rolling the ankle. By that juncture it mattered little with the game in hand.

“We know when we jump on somebody, we can’t let them back in,” Carter said. “This game, we went on a lot of runs and they kept cutting them short, but we knew we had to jump on them and stay on them.”

Even a quiet game from Devin Williams—nine points and six rebounds in 19 minutes—didn’t deter the Mountaineers from the fourth consecutive win and its eighth this season by 20-plus points.

Tarik Phillip scored 12 off the bench for West Virginia, which shot better than 50 percent for only the third time this season (31-of-61).

The Mountaineers dominated the rebounding 42-23, including 18 offensive rebounds—right on pace with their nation-leading average. The Hokies, who got 11 points from Zach LeDay and 10 from backup point guard Seth Allen, also were undone by 22 turnovers, though WVU committed 17 themselves.

“We played really well at times and we played really bad at times,” said Huggins.

Paige’s five points in 22 seconds capped a 13-2 run that put West Virginia up 36-23. Virginia Tech pulled within 41-36 late in the half but never narrowed the margin to single digits in the second half.

Huggins attributed Holton’s fourth double-double of the season to the senior forward “playing with great attitude” over 22 minutes. Holton had played only 13 minutes in the previous game against Eastern Kentucky, finishing with four points and four rebounds.

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