The Mountaineers closed out non-conference play on Sunday afternoon in Charleston against the Tribe. From start to finish, it was all WVU, as the Mountaineers won in dominating fashion, 82-45.
After having a week off since the home loss to Purdue, WVU came out a little bit flat. Tim Rusthoven got the first points of the day for either side, and added another bucket at the 18:58 mark to open the William & Mary lead up to 4-0. Coach Huggins was not pleased by how his team opened the game.
"I wasn't happy at all," said Huggins.
It took the Mountaineers over two minutes to get their first basket of the afternoon. Terry Henderson hit a jumper to make it 4-2. Rusthoven pushed the lead back to four on the next possession for the Tribe. After falling behind 6-2, WVU was able to get even just minutes later. The score was 8-8 at the 14:30 mark in the first half.
Over the next 4:31, the Mountaineers put together a 15-0 run to open the game wide open at 23-8. The run by WVU seemed to provide energy for the entire first half.
The Mountaineers would build their lead all the way up to 21 with 2:40 to go in the first half of play. At the break, it was 41-24 in favor of WVU.
WVU would shoot 50 percent (14-28) from the field in the first half. After shooting a miserable 17 percent (3-18) from behind the arc at home against Purdue, the Mountaineers responded by going 33 percent (4-12) in the first half.
WVU held William & Mary to just 25 percent (7-28) in the first half.
After the break, WVU continued to dominate. The Mountaineers opened up the second half with a 6-0 run. On defense, Coach Huggins team held the visiting Tribe scoreless for almost five minutes. At the 7:34 mark in the second half, WVU had only allowed eight points on the defensive end. The players were happy with the effort on defense.
"That's something we've worked on practice," said Staten. "That's something Coach Huggins really stresses, and I think we made strides today."
Despite the solid defensive outing, Coach Huggins still says his team has to do a better job.
"We have to guard better," said Huggins. "We took a small step in the right direction today."
Nathan Adrian hit three consecutive shots from behind the arc to give WVU a 36-point lead, 72-36, their largest of the game to that point. Coach Huggins said after the game that he has been working with Adrian.
"I've been trying to help him be more assertive," said Huggins. "He needs to do a better job at getting rebounds for us."
The Mountaineers would cruise to a victory over the Tribe by a final score of 82-45 to close out non-conference play.
Terry Henderson led the way for WVU with 19 points on the afternoon. Nathan Adrian finished with 16 points in the victory over William & Mary. Two other Mountaineers, Staten (15) and Harris (10), finished in double figures. Staten also grabbed 10 rebounds on the afternoon to finish with a double-double.
WVU advances to 8-5 on the season heading into next weekend when the Mountaineers travel to meet up with TCU in their conference opener.