Notes and Observations From West Virginia's 35 Point Victory over VMI

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia overcame a sloppy first half and earned its eighth victory of the year with a 90-55 victory over VMI.

  • Needless to say Saturday's game was probably much more competitive for stretches than the fans, coaching staff and players would have liked. After starting the game on a 22-6 run the Mountaineers looked flat and had several mental lapses for the remainder of the first half. West Virginia battled tightly with the Keydets for the majority the first half and beginning of the second half of the contest. Still though, the outcome was never in doubt and the Mountaineers' eventually pulled away in the second half and got their eighth win of the season.

  • Daxter Miles' shooting was a big reason the Mountaineers were able to pull away late. The junior hit some big threes in the first half after the Keydets cut the Mountaineers' lead to five points and Miles' shooting also pushed the Mountaineers' lead back out to 20 after a competitive start to the second half. Miles came just three points shy of matching his career-high of 23.

  • Brandon Watkins continues to look like a different player this season and the 6-foot-11 senior gave the Mountaineers a big spark off of the bench. Watkins finished with a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) and head coach Bob Huggins spoke at length about a hiatus in the summer that changed Watkins' mindset. 

  • As expected,WVU dominated on the glass against a VMI team who didn't have a single player taller than 6-foot-6 in the starting line-up. The Mountaineers won the rebounding edge 49-29 on the day.

  • Free throws continue to be a big issue for this West Virginia team. While shooting 62 percent may not cost the Mountaineers a win against VMI (or any of the remaining non-conference opponent for that matter), it could very well be the determining factor in a Big 12 game down the road.

  • Beetle Bolden showed some impressive shooting behind the arc and played what was probably the best game of his young Mountaineer career. After playing sparingly against Western Carolina, the freshman guard saw a lot of time early and looked much more comfortable in the Mountaineers' offense on Saturday afternoon. Bolden gave the Mountaineers' 13 quality minutes and even started the second half in place of Esa Ahmad.

  • Some old bad habits seemed to plague the Mountaineers on the offensive end of the court for WVU. At times the Mountaineers were downright sloppy with the ball and threw several bad passes that resulted in 12 turnovers. The Mountaineers also missed a number of easy shots (specifically in VMI's early 11-0 run). These are two issues that Bob Huggins has harped on early in the season and the veteran head coach isn't likely to be happy with the overall offensive performance.

  • While there were certainly negatives to harp on for the Mountaineers offensive performance, they did show some nice 3-point shooting ability. West Virginia ended the night 10-19 from beyond the arc. Daxter Miles and Beetle Bolden specifically stuck out with their ability to hit some deep shots.

  • Some statistical notes: Daxter Miles tied his career high with made 3-pointers as the junior hit five from beyond the arc. Brandon Watkins also earned his fourth career double figure game and second career double-double 

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