WVU scored more points in the first half vs. Marist on Thursday than it did in all 40 minutes of last week’s game vs. the Bulldogs. The Mountaineers easily defeated Marist 87-44 in The Opening game of the Old Spice Classic on Thanksgiving.
West Virginia will play the winner of Vanderbilt/Davidson on Friday at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN.
WVU used a 51-point first half and shot lights out while holding Marist to just five field goals in the first 20 minutes of the game.
The Mountaineers were led by freshman guard Terry Henderson, who had 14 points – all in the first half. He was strong from the outside, something WVU needed following its performance vs. Gonzaga. Four other players scored in double figures.
Overall, WVU shot 52.9 percent and held Marist to just 27.1 percent shooting.
West Virginia seemed like it would keep up the trend of struggling from the field at the start of the game. Marist took an early 6-3 lead before the Mountaineers turned it on.
Point guard Juwan Staten and guard Matt Humphrey, with four points apiece, led a 12-0 run to take the lead and extend it to 15-6.
The lead would grow, and WVU got a spark from Henderson, who had 14 first-half points off the bench. He hit five straight points to jump the Mountaineers’ lead to 24-9.
The West Virginia run would just continue to grow, as freshman guard Eron Harris hit a layup and a free throw to make it a 30-8 run and increase the lead to 33-14. Harris had nine first-half points including an ally-oop to spark a pro-WVU crowd in Orlando.
Humphrey tipped in a missed hook shot from forward Deniz Kilicli with just seconds to go in the first half, giving the Mountaineers a commanding 51-19 lead.
Five WVU players recorded at least two fouls in the first half, but it didn’t seem to bother the Mountaineers, which had 10 players contribute in the first 20 minutes of the game.
WVU shot 56.4 percent in the first half. Marist was held to just 25 percent from the field. The Mountaineers attempted just five 3-pointers in the first half and made three of them – as many as they made vs. Gonzaga to open the season.
Seven of Marist’s points came from the free-throw line, as it could only hit five shots from the field in the first half.
The Red Foxes had six points in the first four minutes and then struggled with 13 points over the next 16 minutes of the first half. It had 15 turnovers, allowing WVU to take 19 more shots than Marist.
Center Aaric Murray did not play until the second half due to a decision made by head coach Bob Huggins. Murray scored his first points four minutes into the second half. He finished with 10 points when the game had already basically been decided.
Forward Kevin Noreen started in Murray’s spot. Guard Aaron Brown also started vs. the Red Foxes.
Marist forward Adam Kemp had success early on but struggled following the first four minutes of the game. He finished with six points.