Boll Weevils exterminated by West Virginia

West Virginia's Chris Moss and Lionel Armstead smiled Friday as they talked about playing Arkansas-Monticello. The 0-7 Boll Weevils, a Division II school, weren't expected to give the 4-0 Mountaineers a game. The senior duo made sure they didn't.

Armstead scored a game-high 23 points on seven of seven three-point shooting and Moss had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds in West Virginia's 105-73 win Saturday. It was WVU's largest win since a 100-54 victory over Bowling Green on Dec. 18, 1999.

"Chris did a great job," center John Oliver said. "They had no one inside that could stop him, just no answer."

Indeed, the 6-8 Moss, who plays much larger than his size, dominated Monticello, which has no starter taller than 6-9, inside. Fourteen of his 21 points came off put-backs, and Moss continually outran the Boll Weevil front court for points on the fast break.

"He had a heck of a game," WVU head coach Gale Catlett. "They all did. This team can pressure people into mistakes and bad decisions, and I hope it continues."

Arkansas-Monticello's biggest mistake was leaving Armstead open for much of the first 10 minutes. It finally extended its defense after he made his fifth three-pointer to give WVU a 21-12 lead with 11:29 remaining in the first half.

"There is no more focusing on me anymore," Armstead, who led the Big East in three-point percentage last year, said. "We have four or five guys now that can knock down shots. With Jonathan's (Hargett) penetration and Drew Schifino there is no telling what we can do."

Armstead started at point guard in place of Hargett, a highly regarded freshman who was being penalized for missing the first 10 minutes of a shoot-around Friday.

Hargett finished with 13 points and six assists and made several no-look passes. Off a break he found Josh Yeager with a no-look pass for a layup, then, on the next possession, faked an inside pass and dribbled past two defenders to score and get the foul.

His free throw gave West Virginia its then-largest lead at 79-43 with 10:42 left.

"Every game we get better chemistry-wise," Moss said. "We get to know each other better, but we still need to go out and play hard every game."

Monticello played well in its halfcourt sets and managed to pull to within 35-26 on Derrick Bryant's jumper with 4:59 left. West Virginia, however, responded with a 19-2 run to end the half and seal the win.

Moss, who made seven of 10 shots in the opening period, scored nine of his 15 first-half points during the push, including two consecutive dunks off fast breaks.

The Boll Weevil bench was called for a technical to end the first half after head coach Mike Newell argued a foul call. Armstead made both free throws to cap the run and give WVU a 54-28 halftime lead.

Arkansas-Monticello was led by Orlando Hampton's 23 points. Three other Boll Weevils finished in double figures. Monticello had 25 turnovers.

The Mountaineers, who played their entire bench, made just 20 of 38 free throws.

The Boll Weevils, after their game with Northwestern State, took a 14-hour bus trip from Louisiana to West Virginia to play Marshall. They then traveled from Huntington to Morgantown to play the Mountaineers. The return trip will also be by bus.

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