Led by a Juwan Staten double-double, the Mountaineers were able to create a lot of chances for themselves by using their defense. West Virginia forced 21 Wofford turnovers, turning those miscues into 27 points on the other end of the floor.
“We just wanted to come out and get going early,” Staten said. “We didn’t want to let them turn this into a game that we would have to try to pull out at the end. We wanted to apply pressure early and put it over quick.”
WVU (11-1) was able to do just that against the Terriers. Wofford never led in the game, and trailed by double digits within the game’s first six minutes and were never able to recover as they just were not able to find an answer for the tough West Virginia full-court pressure.
After the game was tied at 2-2 early, the Mountaineers responded with a 16-0 run in which Wofford missed all four of its shot attempts and committed four turnovers.
“We can’t sleep on any team,” said senior guard Gary Browne. “We don’t care how many points we’re up, we’re still going to pressure teams for 40 minutes.
Much like they did in the first half, West Virginia used a big run to spark their play in at the start of the second half. Five minutes into the half, the Mountaineers went on a 16-3 run that extended their lead to 37 points against a Wofford team that entered the game No. 41 in the RPI and was 9-2 with a quality road win against North Carolina State last week.
Nine players got on the board for WVU in a balanced effort that saw the entire roster play well and click on all cylinders. The Mountaineers got 34 points from its bench, including an 11-point showing from Elijah Macon – his first time in double figures in his West Virginia career – and 10 points from freshman guard Jevon Carter.
It’s the first time WVU has started a season 11-1 since the 2009-10 team that went to the Final Four, and even though the Mountaineers are definitely taking some time to soak in the fact that they are playing much better than they had in either of the last two seasons, they’re still understanding the fact that there is plenty of work left to do.
“We’re not satisfied,” Browne said. “This is the best (start) we’ve had since I’ve been here, but we still have our goals and we have to keep going. We’re not satisfied with this, we have to get more wins.”
Staten finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, giving him his fourth career double-double, and Jonathan Holton joined him as the fourth Mountaineer in double figures with 11 points to go with five rebounds.
Wofford was not able to get any momentum going from the field, making just 11 shots from the field – and only five shots inside the 3-point line. The last time a team made fewer shots in a game against West Virginia was when Penn State made 10 shots against the Mountaineers in 1949.
WVU returns to the Coliseum on Dec. 30 for its final non-conference game of the season against Virginia Tech before starting Big 12 play at the beginning of January with a Texas road trip to take on TCU and Texas Tech.