No. 20 West Virginia cruises past Mount St. Mary's 87-59
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) With a big lead in the season opener, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins got a chance to get his youngest players some valuable experience.
Nathan Adrian scored 13 points and No. 20 West Virginia cruised past Mount St. Mary's 87-59 on Friday night to win its fourth straight opener.
Sagaba Konate had 11 points and six rebounds in 12 minutes during a matchup of schools both nicknamed the Mountaineers. He was one of five West Virginia freshmen to play.
''I thought some were pretty good and some weren't very good,'' Huggins said. ''I thought Sags played well and was active. We've just got to throw him in there and help him get his feet wet, but some of our older guys weren't very good. They've got to be a whole lot better for us.''
Jevon Carter had 10 points in 27 minutes for West Virginia. Tarik Phillip and Brandon Watkins each scored nine, and Huggins put his team's depth on display by giving at least 10 minutes of time to 11 players.
Another freshman who had an impressive debut was Lamont West, with seven points and eight rebounds. Konate, however, expected more of himself.
''Not really satisfied with my first game,'' the forward said. ''We need to improve on the defense side and with our press. We need to roll to the ball better.''
West Virginia scored the first seven points and led by as many as 21 in the first half.
Greg Alexander led Mount St. Mary's with 15 points. Elijah Long had 14 and Miles Wilson scored 11.
''Well, you know, we're always big believers in challenging our team,'' coach Jamion Christian said. ''I was just talking to our team about it in the locker room there and (if) we learn from these experiences along the way, we're going to be right where we need to be at.
''You know, we're not in the Big 12. So, everything for us in our league is going to be measured at the end of the season. We've always done a great job at getting better at it. We'll use this experience here and this road trip to really continue to improve.''
Mount St. Mary's: Coming off a 13-19 season, the Mountaineers open with nine road games before returning to play at home in Emmitsburg, Maryland, on Dec. 7. The trip includes games at No. 24 Iowa State, Minnesota, George Mason, Michigan and Arkansas.
West Virginia: Coming off a 26-9 record last season and an early exit from the NCAA Tournament, the Mountaineers have two more home games before playing in the NIT Season Tip-Off in Brooklyn on Thanksgiving weekend.
West Virginia's full-court press helped generate 26 points off 21 turnovers.
Mount St. Mary's, third in the country in creating turnovers last season, scored 11 points off 13 turnovers.
Mount St. Mary's plays at Iowa State on Monday.
West Virginia hosts Mississippi Valley State on Monday.