West Virginia trounced Eastern Kentucky in Morgantown on Monday 84-59 and had the Colonels pretty much out of commission with a 25-3 run to end the first half.
The Colonels were minus Jarelle Reischel and KJ Bluford, the former being the team's leading scorer and rebounder. In their place, Javontae Hawkins and Jaylen Babb-Harrison weren't able to pick up enough of the slack, combining for 31 points. Even without Reischel, the Colonels shot the ball well from 3-point land (9 makes) but did not find much working around the basket, as they ended the night with just 16 points in the paint.
And to think, EKU led for much of the game's first 10 minutes and was down just 22-18 with less than eight minutes to go before the break.
Jaysean Paige scored all 17 points of his points and contributed four of WVU's 9 3-point buckets in the first half. 11 different players scored for WVU, bit it was Paige, Devin Williams (15) and Dexter Miles Jr. (12) that led the way.
The Mountaineer defense turned the Colonels over 11 times in the first half and hurried what became an ineffective EKU offense over the last minutes of the first half.
By the end of the night, Coach Dan McHale's team had shot better from the floor than WVU, but still managed to lose by 25.
The Mountaineers controlled the boards and created scoring opportunities for each other with extra passes throughout. 21 assists is just one number that represents that. It was WVU forced turnovers and second-chance opportunities that did EKU in. 18 turnovers and 15 offensive rebounds were a big part in that. The Colonels are actually looked fine when they were calm and collected in a halfcourt offense. EKU scored on six straight possessions about midway through the second half and shot 49 percent from the floor, just as WVU did.