Thoroughman, Kilicli lead Mountaineers past Seton Hall, 56-44
Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 23:02
Cam Thoroughman scored six points in the first 3:28 of Wednesday's 56-44 West Virginia win over Seton Hall.
The senior finished as one of four players in double-figure scoring, ending with a career-high 10 points.
After the game, he cautioned those expecting similar performances from him to think otherwise.
"It's not like this is going to happen every game, so don't count on it," Thoroughman said. "They just left me open, and Huggs told me to knock them down. So I did."
Thoroughman surpassed his previous career-high of nine points, which he set against Cleveland State on Dec. 18, just four minutes into the game. He finished the game 5-of-7 from the field and added four rebounds in 26 minutes to help the Mountaineers claim their seventh- straight win over Seton Hall.
"We're not going to run any plays for him," said WVU point guard Joe Mazzulla. "But he can shoot. He was recruited as a shooter."
With the victory, the Mountaineers improved to 6-3 in the Big East Conference and jumped to second place in the league standings after Syracuse upset No. 7 Connecticut.
It was the least amount of points allowed by West Virginia to a Big East Conference opponent in the program's history.
When Thoroughman was taken out of the game, his replacement Deniz Kilicli picked up where his teammate left off. Kilicli scored eight points in the next eight minutes to give WVU a 23-13 advantage.
West Virginia led by as many as 17 points with a minute left before halftime, as the Mountaineers' held Seton Hall to 23 percent shooting in the opening half.
"They just gave up," Kilicli said.
The Mountaineers' dominance in the paint was aided by the early struggles of Pirates' forward Herb Pope. The team's leading rebounder played just nine minutes in the first half after picking up his third personal foul with 7:49 left in the first half.
In Pope's absence, WVU out-rebounded Seton Hall 23-14 in the first half and 48-36 in the game.
"When they started losing, he got a little frustrated. That happens when you play hard," Kilicli said, who admitted to arguing with Pope throughout the game. "We're both emotional players. I can control my emotions, but, apparently, he can't control his."
Kilicli finished with 10 points and seven boards, while Pope ended with eight points and seven rebounds. Jeff Robinson led the Pirates with nine points.
The Mountaineers held SHU's leading scorer Jeremy Hazell to a just five points on 1-of-8 shooting, including an 0-for-6 mark from 3-point range.
Hazell entered Wednesday's game averaging 27 points in his last four games against WVU.
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins credited senior forward John Flowers' length in holding Hazell to his worst offensive output of the season.
"John's length bothers people," he said.
WVU will now travel to No. 12 Villanova Saturday, beginning a stretch in which it will end the regular season facing seven ranked opponents in nine games.
"We dug ourselves in a hole early, but we've battled our way out of it," Kilicli said. "We're playing hard, nobody's pouting and everybody's playing for each other."