Balanced WVU continues DePaul’s Big East nightmare
Five Mountaineers score at least 10
Published: Sunday, February 13, 2011
Updated: Monday, February 14, 2011 10:02
DePaul nearly overcame a 14-point deficit before losing to West Virginia 67-65 in Chicago on Jan. 4.
Despite a similar attempt to erase a 17-point Mountaineer lead Saturday, the result was the same. Five WVU players scored in double-figures as West Virginia topped the Blue Demons 82-71, handing DePaul its 24th straight Big East Conference regular season game.
"It had a very similar feel (to the Jan. 4 matchup)," said DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell. "We were just chasing a good basketball team. We made a couple shots late, but we couldn't close the gap."
The Blue Demons shot 63 percent from the field after halftime to cut the WVU lead to seven points with 2:33 remaining in the game, but couldn't overcome West Virginia's most balanced scoring attack against a Big East team this season.
Five Mountaineers finished in double-figure scoring while seven of the eight Mountaineers who played in the game scored at least eight points.
The only player who didn't was senior Cam Thoroughman, who finished with a team-high six rebounds and five assists.
West Virginia registered 23 assists on its 28 field goals in the game. It was the most assists by a WVU team since the team's 89-68 win over Seton Hall in 2008.
"I thought we were really good until the end," said WVU head coach Bob Huggins. "By and large, we were much better. We passed it much better."
West Virginia led throughout the game after jumping out to an 8-2 lead within the first two minutes. Nine of the Mountaineers' first 19 points came from point guards Joe Mazzulla and Truck Bryant.
The pair combined for 23 points in the game and 12 assists in the game.
Flowers' 15 led the Mountaineers while Deniz Kilicli and Mazzulla ended with 12. Bryant and Casey Mitchell each scored 11.
The Mountaineers' bench outscored DePaul's 32-15 while WVU shot 53 percent from the field and 46 percent from 3-point range. It was the team's best 3-point shooting game of the season.
"When we share the ball, we're tough to defend," Kilicli said.
West Virginia led throughout after taking the lead on back-to-back Joe Mazzulla layups. The Mountaineers ended the first half on an 11-6 run to take a 47-34 lead at halftime.
"They're not the best defensive team, but we shared the ball and got open shots," said WVU forward John Flowers. "We pretty much got anything we wanted."
Four DePaul players finished in double-figure scoring, led by Brandon Young's 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Jimmy Drew added 13 while Krys Faber and Tony Freeland each scored 11.