West Virginia has been known for its defense for years. So far the Mountaineers’ offense has been putting on quite a show.
Esa Ahmad tied a career-high with 14 points, Nathan Adrian added 12 and the No. 19 Mountaineers cruised to a 100-41 victory over New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon. This is West Virginia’s first back-to-back games with over 100 points since the 1996-97 season.
The Mountaineers (3-0) started off a little stale in the opening minutes, trailing the Wildcats (2-2) 4-1 after 1:52, but then went on a 22-2 run over the next 6:30 to take a commanding lead midway through the first half.
Included in that 22-2 run was an impressive play by Jevon Carter with a little over 12 minutes to play in the first half. Just as the ball was about to go out of bounds, Carter somersaulted in the air with the ball and tossed it to Teyvon Myers who was there for the dunk.
“I was just playing hard,” said Carter. “I didn’t know that he would be there. We’re just taught to throw it back under the basket when we’re going out of bounds.”
West Virginia ended the game with another run in the second half outscoring New Hampshire 36-9 in the final ten minutes.
Ahmad led six Mountaineers in double figures. Lamont West had 13points, Adrian and Jevon Carter had 12 and both Teyvon Myers and Tarik Phillip had 11.
“I feel like I have been aggressive (in the first two games),” said Ahmad. “I definitely see myself taking more of a leadership role. Along with JC (Carter) Nate (Adrian), of course you look at those guys as leaders but I definitely look at the role too.”
West Virginia also continued its heavy press presence, scoring 47 points off of 34 New Hampshire turnovers.
“Yeah, (New Hampshire head coach) Billy (Herrion) is a really good coach and they are really good in half-court if you saw their Temple game,” said Huggins. “They make adjustments, they make great reads on screens and we try not to let people run what they want to run and we were pretty successful at it today.”
Iba Camera had a double-double for New Hampshire with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
“The thing you really look at is how hard you’re competing and we did not compete nearly as hard as you need to compete against a team that plays as hard as they do,” said New Hampshire head coach Bill Herrion. “That’s why the spread was what it was. That’s why we lost by what we lost by.”
New Hampshire: The Wildcats shot 30.4% from the field against West Virginia. This is their third straight game scoring below 36% from the field.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers continue to dominate with their press, but their performance at the foul line is very inconsistent. WVU shot 55% after shooting 73.7% against Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 14
With West Virginia’s dominant performance over the last two games, and losses by both No. 13 Michigan State and No. 15 Purdue, look for the Mountaineers to gain a spot or two in the AP Top 25 on Monday.
Lamont West led six West Virginia freshmen with 13 points. Four of these six freshmen saw more than 10 minutes on the court and accounted for 35 points and 17 rebounds.
West Virginia forced 34 New Hampshire turnovers, the second-most opponent turnovers in WVU school history (36 against VMI on Nov. 26, 2014). The Mountaineers have scored 107 points off of 81 turnovers so far this season.
New Hampshire hosts Detroit on Wednesday.
West Virginia takes on Illinois in the NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn on Thursday.
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