West Virginia’s strategy was simple and to the point Sunday: Throw the ball to Derek Culver and Logan Routt.
The two mountain-sized Mountaineers were too much for the Barcelona All-Stars to handle during WVU’s 98-67 exhibition victory that capped off a 3-0 run during the team’s tour of Spain.
Both forwards recorded double-doubles, with Culver pouring in 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Routt added 20 and 10.
“We got a lot of different guys who can score,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “When we really need to score, we can throw it pretty close to the big fella (Culver). He’s pretty good down there.”
West Virginia won its three games by an average of 41.3 points, and after trailing 15-13 late in the first quarter against Barcelona, the Mountaineers used their size and speed advantages to take control of the game.
Culver got hot in the second quarter, scoring 11 of his 13 first-half points that helped the Mountaineers gain a 48-40 halftime lead.
The third quarter was all Culver and Routt, as the two big men combined for 22 of West Virginia’s 28 points that gave WVU a 76-58 lead heading into the fourth.
The Mountaineers dominated with a 22-9 advantage to close out the game.
“I think it’s been good for us and we got to play together,” Huggins said of the exhibition tour. “We’ve got some new guys and we’ve got some older guys who haven’t played as much. Just for them to be able to play together and interact together, I think was great for us.”
The game did see some competitive moments, as the West Virginia bench was called for a technical foul in the first half while arguing over a lack of foul calls and WVU guard Jordan McCabe was also called for a technical in the second half for a quick shove of a Barcelona player while getting ready to run up the court.
West Virginia guard Sean McNeil, who scored 24 points over the Mountaineers’ first two games, sat out against Bareclona with an illness.
“We had a couple of guys we couldn’t play as much,” Huggins said. “We’ve had some guys with some kind of stomach virus. Couple of them played, but really weren’t themselves.”
Chase Harler connected on three 3-pointers and added 14 and McCabe added two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to finish with 10 points and four assists.
Freshman guard Deuce McBride had another strong overall game with six points, seven assists and four steals.
It was a breakout game of sorts for Culver, who spent the first two games fighting through constant double teams.
He finished with two consecutive double-doubles to end the tour and averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds over the three games.
Routt, too was impressive on the tour. He finished as West Virginia’s leading scorer at 17 points per game and added 7.6 rebounds per game.
The Mountaineers will return to Morgantown on Tuesday and will resume two-hour per week workouts once the fall semester begins on Aug. 21. Preseason practices will begin in late September.
Tour of Spain stat leaders
Logan Routt 17.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg
Derek Culver 16.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg
Emmitt Matthews Jr. 13.0 ppg
Chase Harler 13.0 ppg
Deuce McBride 10.3 ppg