Men's Basketball: WVU vs. Akron Game Recap - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Men's Basketball: WVU vs. Akron Game Recap

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Nick Arthur, Morgantown -

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Freshman point guard Jabarie Hinds scored 19 points and senior forward Kevin Jones added 18 as the West Virginia Mountaineers defeated Akron 77-56 on Monday night at the Coliseum.

West Virginia (4-1) forced 20 turnovers and turned those into 32 points.

"It was a tough game in the beginning," Jones said. "I think our defensive pressure started to get to them a little bit. We got steals and our guards really got up and pressured their guards."

The Mountaineers only led by six, 21-15, with 8:13 remaining in the first half. But, a technical foul on West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins seemed to get the Mountaineers going. The team responded with a 19-2 run to end the half and took a 43-20 advantage into the locker room.

Jones had another impressive first half. Jones had nine points and eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

But, the story of the first half was the play from Hinds. His quick hands and feet forced multiple Akron turnovers that led to easy points for the Mountaineers.

Hinds was just taking advantage of his opportunity.

"The momentum was going our way, I was feeling it," Hinds said.

Huggins was pleased with the play from his freshman starting point guard.

"He's a talented guy," Huggins said. "He gets better all the time, and will continue to get better all the time."

The Mount Vernon, N.Y. native led all scorers with 15 first-half points.

 "He definitely gave us a big spark," Jones said. "He just had a complete game tonight."

Poor free-throw shooting continued for the Mountaineers in the first half. Despite the 23-point lead, West Virginia was just 8-16 from the free-throw line.  

The Mountaineers played sloppy offensively to begin the second half, and the Zips were able to chip into the lead.

Nitro, W.Va. native Brett McClanahan hit a deep three for the visitors, and Akron trailed 57-41 with nine minutes left to play.

Freshman guard Gary Browne hit a runner with five minutes left to play. West Virginia extended its lead to 66-44.

Browne and Hinds continued to bother Akron players in the second half. The two combined for eight steals.

"We thought we could try to pressure them a little bit," Huggins said. "Kind of take them out of what they want to do."

Akron junior center Zeke Marshall led the Zips in blocked shots with 16 coming into the contest. Marshall forced many Mountaineer players to adjust their shots when in the paint. However, foul trouble kept the seven-footer from McKeesport, Pa. on the bench for early portions of the second half.

Jones recorded his fourth straight double-double. Jones finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds

West Virginia finished 14-27 from the free throw line.

Senior guard Truck Bryant and junior forward Deniz Kilicli both added 11 points.

Bryant thought the non-conference victory over Akron was very telling.   

"We learned we can be a very good team at the end of the year," Bryant said.

 

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