West Virginia drubs Loyola (Md.)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — What do you do when your top scorers fail to hit their averages? Call for balance, of course.
That’s what West Virginia got Monday night as it pounded Loyola (Md.) 96-47.
Remi Dibo scored a career-high 19 points and four of his teammates chipped in with double figures as West Virginia (6-2) ripped Loyola, which fell to 4-2.
Dibo, a junior forward from Casper College and Montreull, France, canned 6 of 8 baskets (5 of 7) from beyond the 3-point line as the Mountaineers (6-2) showed their highest margin (49 points) over an opponent this season.
“That’s what I do. When they go in I definitely feel good about myself,” Dibo said.
Dylon Cormier, the nation’s second-leading scorer with 28.4 points per game coming in, was the only Greyhound in double figures (11).
Dibo, a reserve who played 23 minutes, got able backup from teammates Terry Henderson (16), also a reserve, Eron Harris (14), Kevin Noreen (13) and Nathan Adrian (11). Adrian, a freshman, tied his career best.
“We’re way better,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “We scored 96 points and (starter) Eron Harris wasn’t very good. He’s been really good and he didn’t play near as well as he’s been playing. Juwan (Staten) didn’t score near as well as he’s been scoring. Neither of them shot very well.”
“In spite of that, we were still able to score because (Dibo) and (Adrian) made shots,” he said.
Staten, who was averaging 18.2 points per game prior to tip, scored only four points, but the 6-foot-2 guard cleared a game-high 10 rebounds, his career best. He also dished out seven assists. His 7.6 assists, prior to this game, placed him third among NCAA leaders.
West Virginia’s Harris was the Big 12’s second-leading scorer (21.1 points per game) entering the contest.
WVU walloped Loyola on the boards, bringing down 62 rebounds to just 22 for the visitors, including 29 offensive boards to the Greyhounds’ seven, their best rebounding performance so far this season.
Adrian grabbed nine rebounds for WVU, and Devin Williams and Harris each had seven.
WVU turned those rebounds into 42 points against just 9 for the visitors.
“The guy who really surprised me tonight was Noreen,” said Loyola coach G.G. Smith. “He actually made a 3 and was five for five from the field.”
“We actually did a pretty good job on their guards, but Dibo came in and we told our team that he was a shooter and he certainly made more than he missed,” Smith said. “I thought he was the biggest factor. He’s a great shooter. We lost him in transition, we lost him at half-court and that’s how you get beat by almost 50.”
The Mountaineers connected on 32 of 74 shots (43.2 percent), but knocked down 13 of 22 buckets (59.1 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc. The Mountaineers were ranked 15th in the latest NCAA statistics in terms of triples made per game (9.6).
West Virginia shot 86.4 percent from the free-throw line on 19-of-22 shooting compared with 41.7 percent for the greyhounds on 5-of-12 shooting.
Loyola mustered just 33.9 percent (19 of 56) from the field and 23.5 percent (4 of 17) outside the arc.
WVU led from wire-to-wire, taking a 47-20 lead into halftime and expanding it to 51 points near the game’s end.
The Mountaineers are 70-3 at home against nonconference teams in the last 11 years, including 51 of its last 52. They are 37-1 in nonconference regular season contests at home under Huggins.
“They are just so strong and physical and that’s just a typical Coach Huggins team,” Smith said “They are just so disciplined. They just make the right guys get the right shots and their big guys are tough and physical.”