WVU coasts past VMI, 94-69

D.J. Covington had 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for the VMI Keydets, but the West Virginia Mountaineers put seven players in double figures and had 60 points in the paint, leading to a 94-69 WVU win Wednesday night at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W. Va.

In addition to its 60 points in the paint, the Mountaineers (2-3) also held a 25-5 edge in second chance points and turned the ball over just eight times, a season-low for a Keydet (3-4) opponent.

Stan Okoye had 14 points and Tim Marshall had a career-high 11, but it was not enough to overcome a night that saw VMI shoot just 37.3% (25 of 67) from the field, including only 8 of 28 from three-point range (28.6%). The Keydets also struggled at the free throw line, going just 11 for 22 (50%) while WVU drilled a crisp 17 of 21 at the charity stripe (81%).

West Virginia was led by Juwan Staten’s 18 points.

The Keydets sprinted out to an 11-6 lead early, thanks to seven points from Okoye, and held a five-point advantage 3:05 into the game. Just over a minute later, however, Terry Henderson hit a three-pointer for the home team and that would start the turnaround. The Mountaineers pulled ahead for good with 14:28 left in the first half, 13-11, again on a Henderson bucket.

VMI stayed within range momentarily and trailed by only three, 18-15, on a Rodney Glasgow hoop at the 10:05 mark. WVU then went on a 12-0 run to pull away and go in front, 30-15, with 7:50 remaining in the half. The Keydets got back within 10 by scoring five straight points, but another Mountaineer run pushed the margin to 17, 41-24, with 3:20 left in the period.

That deficit, 17, would be the margin at halftime, as VMI trailed 48-31 at the break. The Mountaineer bench had fueled their 42-20 run to close the half, as it held a 20-0 edge on the Keydet bench in the opening period.

The WVU lead would hover around 20 for the first several minutes of the second half, but the Mountaineers used a 10-3 run to go up 68-41 with 13:28 to play. The lead hit 30 for the first time at the 10:13 mark, and was pushed as high as 36 with just under four minutes to play before VMI closed out the game on an 11-0 run to account for the final score, 94-69.

In addition to Staten’s 18 points, the home team saw Aaric Murray and Deniz Kilicli chip in 13 apiece, as the Mountaineers won despite shooting just 3 of 19 (15.8%) from three-point range. For the Keydets, Glasgow had seven assists, his second-highest number of the season, while Okoye’s 14 points moved him within two of Damon Williams ’90 for ninth place on VMI’s all-time scoring list.

VMI basketball will return to action Saturday, playing host to Morgan State at Cameron Hall. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

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