|Field Goal %||37.7||54.1|
|Three Point %||25.0||34.4|
|Free Throw %||68.8||65.2|
The West Virginia Mountaineers (5-2) the Youngstown State Penguins (3-6) 106-72, inside the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers scored their season high, shooting 54.1% (40-74) from the floor.
“Our ball movement and our movement in general is a lot better.” Said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins. “We were taking hard shots and we don’t need to take hard shots. We got enough guys that can make shots that we can spread people and get step in shots.”
Guard Beetle Bolden jumped the Mountaineers to an early 16-5 lead shooting a perfect 4-4 from the field and 3-3 from three-point range. Also, adding two rebounds, two assists and a steal.
“It’s just my game.” Beetle said with a smile. “If they are not guarding me, I’m going to let it fly and that’s what coach wants in me. And if they are guarding me, I’m going to facilitate for others.
The Mountaineers built a 13-point lead; however, Youngstown State was hanging around and cut the lead to seven by out rebounding the Mountaineers 17-15 with just under four minutes to play. West Virginia wouldn’t allow another rebound down the stretch, grabbing the last eight rebounds and made 4-5 from the field, taking an 18-point lead into halftime.
West Virginia blew the game open midway through the second half. Senior forward Esa Ahmad led the way with 10 points as the Mountaineers took a 31-point lead.
“I felt like in the first half I didn’t really play that hard. I came out. The second half I tried to be aggressive and just move the ball around.” Said Esa. “Rebounding, getting steals and the defensive end. I just felt like I could have went harder in certain areas. I picked it up in the second half.”
West Virginia went on to get their biggest margin of victory (34). This young basketball team seems to be improving and coming together.
“It was better offensively. Defensively, we still don’t know what we’re doing.” Explained Huggins. “The rule changes have made it harder to guard for a lot of reasons. They cylinder thing that I hate, its hard to trap anybody. If they pivot into you, it’s a foul on you, even though they pivoted into you. I think everybody has figured that out. We just have a ling way to go defensively. We have to gang guard more than we do. We don’t rotate very well.”
The team chemistry has gotten better and you’re starting to see these players trust one another. This mix of young talent has been thrown a lot since coming onto campus and that can get overwhelming and you can get caught flat footed on the court. You can see this young nucleus playing loose and the veterans are helping them along the way.
“Coming out of high school and going against next level athletes it can be a little challenging. Us older guys, we got to teach them and take them through what we went through.” Explain Esa.
The Mountaineers head to New York City on Tuesday night to play Florida in the Jimmy V Classic inside Madison Square Garden at 9:00 pm on ESPN.