As the Mountaineer seniors walked out of the Coliseum Wednesday and saw the fans sing “Country Roads” one last time, they reflected on the memories they endured during their careers in Morgantown.

Jonathan Holton and Jaysean Paige have become critical pieces on team’s defensive and offensive ends, respectively. Holton’s length on the defense bodes countless issues for opponents, featuring a February contest where he gave TCU fits (26 forced turnovers), and Paige is now WVU’s top scorer.

Neither started their careers out in Morgantown. Holton averaged 10.2 points as a freshman at Rhode Island University before transferring to Palm Beach State Community College, where he tallied 17.5 points per game and developed into junior college’s 13th rated player by

Paige made stints at the College of Southern Idaho and Moberly Area Community College before he came to Morgantown his junior year. Although he averaged 21.4 points at Moberly, his significant contributions this year weren’t expected by any stretch.

Instead, Paige has emerged into the heart and soul of the Mountaineers offense alongside double-double machine Devin Williams. He’s upped his scoring totals by nearly nine points from last year (14.3), and has reached 20-plus points in seven of the 16 played Big 12 games.

His efforts included a career-high of 34 points, outing against then No. 17 Iowa State on Big Monday in late February. He broke a program-record for points off the bench, following that up with 17 points in a 70-56 victory at Oklahoma State to garner Big 12 Player of the Week honors.

Paige’s game has developed into not only the three-point threat, but also pull-up jumpers and making layups while initiating contact.

He’s no longer concerned (if he ever was) about who’s standing in front of him, a huge part of his dazzling display that raises the question if he deserves to be a 1st Team All-Big 12 selection.

“He’s got great athleticism,” said WVU head coach Bob Huggins. “He’s got great strength. He can absorb contact at the rim. We kept pounding on him to get it at the rim. He’s as good a finisher as I think he is probably in our league or he’s certainly one of the best.”

But it wasn’t an easy ride for Holton either. He was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules right before the Florida game, leaving his future with the team in doubt.

And Holton has led one of the country’s most tenacious defenses. Although WVU arguably grew during his absence, it went 2-2 without him and the defense struggled defending the three in the first game without him (an 88-71 loss at Florida).

“I know I let Mountaineer Nation down,” Holton said. “I’ve really gotten humbled and have matured through this experience. I am happy that my coaches and my fans, my family, they had that support behind me and kept pushing me to keep going.”

Since his return, it’s been a climb up the standings and rankings for the Mountaineers (with a lot of thanks to Paige). They’ve won four of six since his return, jumping to a No. 10 ranking in the latest AP Poll.

Holton’s even registered four straight games with double-digit rebound totals. He’s second on the team in rebounds (7.9), sitting only behind Devin Williams.

Richard Romeo also had jumper in the corner during Wednesday’s Senior Night victory over Texas Tech, coming off the bench for the third time during Big 12 play in his final home game as well. All three reflected on their times playing in the Coliseum, walking out for the final times following the home finale.

“It was emotional,” Paige said. “Just thinking about all the times I had, practices and the rest of the times I had in here. It’s good memories.”