First Half Run Powers West Virginia Past UMKC

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia put forth a dominating performance with 112-67 a win over UMKC on Saturday afternoon, earning win number nine on the season and win number 800 for head coach Bob Huggins.

For the first five minutes of Saturday afternoon's contest between West Virginia and UMKC, it looked as if spectators might be in for a competitive game as the Mountaineers and Kangaroos battled back and forth to an 8-8 tie at the first media timeout. Head coach Bob Huggins, who apparently was none-too-pleased to see his team trade baskets with UMKC, pulled four out of his five starters and then the Mountaineers ran away with it.

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West Virginia jumped all over the Kangaroos and would outscore their over-matched opponents 34-4 over the next nine minutes, including a 24-0 run that was sparked by Lamont West, who hit two three pointers and made a series of impressive plays on the defensive end of the court in the run. In the stretch the Kangaroos didn't score for nearly six minutes and committed several of their 20 first half turnovers in the process. West Virginia continued to dominate on both ends of the court for the remainder of the first half and took a 56-24 lead into the locker room at intermission, when the fans gave head coach Bob Huggins a standing applause as it became apparent that the head man was in store for his 800th career victory.

After completely out-playing UMKC in the first half, the Mountaineers got off to a slow start in the beginning of half number two as both teams traded buckets back and forth and the Mountaineers suffered several defensive lapses for the first several minutes of the second half. The Mountaineers weren't especially crisp on the offensive end either as they went through a 3:40 stretch with no field goals. The Mountaineers' lack of intensity would carry on for the majority of the final 20 minutes of the game.

In the second half the Mountaineers forced just seven turnovers after forcing 20 in the first half and only outscored the Kangaroos by 13 points. While the starters looked lackadaisical at some points, a lineup that consisted of Logan Routt, Chase Harler, James Bolden and James Long got the crowd going in the final few minutes with a handful of three pointers, blocks and a two handed slam by Harler.

One thing that stuck out about the Mountaineers' performance was the balanced scoring effort. Seven of West Virginia players scored in double figures as Nathan Adrian led the way with 13 points. Daxter Miles, Brandon Watkins and Esa Ahmad each chipped in 12 while Lamont West, Jevon Carter and Teyvon Myers scored 10 points a piece.

After the game, West Virginia Director of Athletics Shane Lyons gave a speech, presented Huggins with a jersey and a framed picture, and Huggins was shown a lengthy video full of former players and peers discussing the impact he has had on their lives and the game of basketball. 

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