MORGANTOWN - West Virginia had ten different players score in their home opener and defeat the VMI Keydets, 94-69.
A total-team effort from WVU (2-3) resulted in their first win in three games. The team's shooting impressed greatly as they shot 45.1% (37-82) from the floor. The Virginia Military Institute (3-4) managed a shooting percentage of just 37%.
Over five players for his team scored in double figures. After shooting just 65% from the line in the first four games, WVU made 17-21 (81%) from the charity stripe tonight.
The Mountaineers fell behind early after finding themselves in foul trouble. Deniz Kilicli had two fouls in under three minutes, and didn't see the floor for the rest of the first half.
Stan Okoye was a big reason for the early VMI lead. The senior who averages over 20 points per game handled the ball on nearly every possession, and was on the court for all 40 minutes of the contest.
A 24-4 run for West Virginia put them ahead for good. The Mountaineers would reach a lead of as much as 36 in the game.
WVU did see some blemishes throughout the game. In the first half alone, the team missed at least five different lay up opportunities. Two dunks were missed as well, including a wide open handed-slam attempt from freshman Eron Harris.
Dayton transfer Juwan Staten led the way for the Mountaineers. After not scoring a single point against Gonzaga, and just six against Marist, he scored 18 points tonight. It's the third game in a row he has scored 15 or more. He also had three assists and seven rebounds.
Aaric Murray continued his stellar year in the post. He brought done a team-high nine rebounds and put the ball through the net for 13 points.
Defensively it was Keaton Miles coming off the bench to provide four steals for the Mountaineers. His aggressive perimeter defense caused VMI to miss several shots, and turn the ball over often. VMI totaled 15 turnovers by the end of the night.
Okoye finished with 14 points, while his teammate D.J. Covington wasn't far behind with 12 points of his own.
West Virginia is now 95-9 all-time in home opening games. The team has also won 41 of the last 42 home games against non-conference opponents.
Next up for the Mountaineers will be the Marshall Thundering Herd (3-3) in Charleston at the Civic Center on December 5. VMI will host Morgan State (1-3) in just three days.