West Virginia senior forward Kevin Jones scored 25 points and head coach Bob Huggins recorded his 699th career win, as the Mountaineers defeated Tennessee Tech 72-53 on Monday night in the second game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic at the Coliseum.
Jones also had 14 rebounds and recorded his sixth double-double of the season.
"I thought we came out a little slow at the beginning," Jones said. "Our offense was a little stagnant. The more we pass the ball, the better team we are."
West Virginia senior guard Truck Bryant chipped in 15 points and junior forward Deniz Kilicli added 10 points.
Jones, Bryant and Kilicli were the only three Mountaineers in double figures.
"We have got to get a whole lot better," Huggins said.
The Mountaineers held the Golden Eagles to just 1-of-15 shooting from 3-point range.
Sloppy play by both teams early in the first half led to a low-scoring affair. The game remained close until freshman guard Paul Williamson hit back-to-back threes to give the Mountaineers an 18-10 lead midway through the first half.
"We're going to need Paul (Williamson)," Jones said. "He works hard in practice and deserves the playing time that he getting right now. He is a guy that can come in and make shots."
However, poor shooting from both teams ensued, and Tennessee Tech was able to keep the game relatively close for most of the first half.
Despite shooting just 32 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes of play, the Golden Eagles only trailed by seven, 33-26, at the half.
The Mountaineers shot just 40 percent in the first half and were outrebounded 19-18.
Jones led all scorers at the half with 13 points and eight rebounds, but he felt improvements needed to be made on the glass.
"We had to come out (in the second half) and show more of an effort on the boards and it started with me," Jones said. "I had to be more aggressive."
Jones continued his strong play to begin the second half. He scored two buckets and extended the Mountaineers' lead to 46-34 at the first media timeout.
Freshman guard Keaton Miles made an impact in the second half. Miles' fifth point gave West Virginia a 53-38 advantage with 11 minutes to play.
Jones hit a pair of free throws, and suddenly the Mountaineers led 62-41 with eight minutes remaining.
Freshman forward Kevin Noreen made a layup with less than five minutes left and West Virginia comfortably led by 21, 68-47.
The win improved West Virginia to 8-2 on the season and 6-1 at the Coliseum.
West Virginia shot 45 percent from the field on Monday night and 17-24 from the free-throw line.
The Mountaineers will travel to Las Vegas on Thursday to face Missouri State in the third game of the Las Vegas Classic.
"We just got to keep on working and keep on getting better," Jones said.