West Virginia defeats DePaul 92-75

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — On Senior Night, West Virginia could not have scripted it better.

Seniors Darryl "Truck" Bryant and Kevin Jones closed out their home careers in grand style Tuesday night as the Mountaineers dunked DePaul 92-75 while hosting their final Big East game.

Bryant scored 28 points and Jones had 22 points and 16 rebounds. Jabarie Hinds added 14 points for West Virginia (18-12, 8-9), which will leave the Big East for the Big 12 on July 1.

"I definitely didn't want to end it (last home game) on a losing note," Jones said. "I envisioned it. I was so excited last night that I could hardly sleep with my family coming in to see me play. Being announced with Truck (Bryant), my best friend, everything turned out the way I expected it to."

Jones is the Big East's leading scorer and rebounder with one game to go If he finishes the numbers leader in both categories, he will be only the fourth league player to do so, joining St. John's Walter Berry (1985-86) and Notre Dame's Troy Murphy (1999-2000) and Luke Harangody (2007-08).

Jones, who has 1,766 points and 1,007 rebounds, will graduate as the only Mountaineers player since Jerry West to total at least 1,700 points and grab at least 1,000 rebounds in his career.

Bryant has scored 1,545 points in his career.

"When you are running with those guys for four years like we are and you go through as many things as you go through in a season," said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, "you are around them in a lot of aspects from an academic standpoint, from a social standpoint; so you obviously get close and they become a part of your family."

West Virginia totaled its most points of the season since defeating Alcorn State 97-62 on Nov. 17.

"First of all I would like to congratulate Bryant and Jones for the way they played," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "Those guys have had terrific college careers. Those young men have obviously done a lot here and it's probably appropriate, but much to my chagrin they played the way they played tonight."

Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young scored 21 apiece for the Blue Demons (11-18, 2-15), who have lost nine straight and 13 of their last 14 games.

Bryant connected on 7 of 13 field goals, 12 of 16 free throws and had four steals while Jones was good on 9 of 17 field goals.

"There have been a lot of great memories here (on the Coliseum floor) and there are a lot of great people in this state," said Bryant. "It's been a pleasure to play here and bring my game to Morgantown. If there's one thing I want for the young guys to take from (Kevin) and me, it's our will to win. I think our will to win is very high."

Freshman Keaton Miles had seven rebounds and four assists for West Virginia.

The Mountaineers led by 19 with 12:02 left when DePaul made a big push. The Blue Demons got within 12 points, at 63-51 at the 10:38 mark, but that was the closest they would come.

West Virginia answered with an 13-2 run to assume a 76-53 advantage.

A 14-3 run by West Virginia opened up the first half, with the Mountaineers stretching the lead to 17 on a Jones 3-pointer with 8:57 to go.

Using a full-court press, the Blue Demons ran off 10 unanswered points to pull within 27-20 with 6:28 left.

DePaul got it to 33-27 at the 3:52 mark, but West Virginia put on a half-ending explosion to take a 47-31 lead into the locker room.

Bryant and Jones left the game to a standing ovation with 1:59 remaining in the contest.

"The cheers were heart-warming, man," Jones said. "These fans have shown me so much support during the past four years. Really, they've shown the team the last four years and you just want to give it back to them somehow. I think that was the reason that we came out so strong tonight."

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