Juwan Staten scored 18 points to lead seven West Virginia
players in double figures as the Mountaineers broke a two-game
losing streak by defeating Virginia Military Institute 94-69
Staten, a junior guard who transferred from Dayton, and Aaric
Murray, a junior center who transferred from La Salle, put up big
Staten’s 18 points led all scorers and was his best total with
the Mountaineers (2-3). He connected on 7 of 10 shots, made all
four of his free throws, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out
Murray made 6 of 12 field goal tries, finished with 13 points
and took a game-high nine rebounds.
They got plenty of help. Senior center Deniz Kilicli connected
on 5 of 8 shots and finished with 13 points, 11 in the second half.
He also grabbed five rebounds.
Reserves Gary Browne and Keaton Miles scored 11 points, with
Browne also getting seven rebounds and a career-high seven assists.
Miles’ point total was a career high for the sophomore.
Terry Henderson and Eron Harris added 10 points each.
Stan Okoye led VMI (3-4) with 14 points, D.J. Covington had 12
and Tim Marshall 11.
West Virginia has won 13 straight home openers since moving back
into the Coliseum in the 2000-01 season after it was closed for a
year for asbestos abatement. It was also the Mountaineers’ 42nd
victory in their last 43 home games against nonconference
West Virginia had played a tough early schedule, losing on the
road to 12th-ranked Gonzaga and at a neutral-site tournament to
Davidson and Oklahoma, but a lack of scoring had been the chief
problem for coach Bob Huggins’ team.
Coming into this game, the Mountaineers had connected on just
39.8 percent of their field goal attempts, 25.8 percent from the
3-point line and just 65.6 percent of their free throws.
Those figures showed some improvement in this nonconference
game. Although West Virginia made just 3 of 19 attempts (15.8
percent) from 3-point range, but it was 37 of 82 (45.1 percent)
overall from the floor and made 17 of 21 free throws.
West Virginia led 90-58 before VMI made some headway against
Mountaineers subs. West Virginia forced 15 turnovers while
committing just eight.