WVU Puts Bonaventure Away

West Virginia stormed out of the gates early with a 14-4 run to begin the game and held on for a comfortable win despite a poor shooting night to defeat St. Bonaventure 70-55.

The win, which came in front of 8,058 in the Charleston Civic Center in the Mountaineers' annual non-conference visit to the Capital City, was the fifth against no losses for John Beilein in that venue.

Tyrone Sally led the Mountaineers with 17 points, Joe Herber scored 15 and Mike Gansey chipped in with 12 to lead another balanced attack for WVU. Gansey completed the first double-double of his career with 10 rebounds.

In a departure from the norm, West Virginia struggled from outside the arc against the Bonnies, shooting a measly 15% in a 3-20 performance from behind the line. WVU was much better from inside the arc, where the Mountaineers shot 46.3% on their two point shots. The Mountaineers also finished 17-23 from the free throw line for a 73.9% when the Bonnies resorted to fouling late in the game.

WVU stormed out of the gate against the visitors with two quick and easy inside buckets by D'or Fischer (six points, seven blocked shots) to give WVU a quick 4-0 lead. Herber got his first two points on two free throws after being fouled on a drive by St. Bonnie's Wade Dunston. J.D. Collins got two of his six points on a driving lay-up just over a minute later to extend the WVU lead to 8-0.

St. Bonaventure finally got on the board with a Ahmad Smith (12 pts, 11 rebs) jumper at the 15:56 mark of the first half to cut the WVU lead to 8-2, but Herber knocked down a short jumper on the next trip down the floor to put the lead back to eight at 10-2.

After Wade Dunston (8 pts, 7 rebs) hit two free throws for Bonaventure, Gansey got two straight buckets to extend the lead to 14-4 at the 14:23 mark.

WVU would go on another run to extend their lead to 31-10 at the 5:07 mark of the first half. Darris Nichols hit a nice jumper in the lane to start the run, Gansey hit his only three-pointer of the game, Salley threw in four points and Frank Young got a bucket. Herber hit his only three of the game and Salley got an easy lay-up on a nice feed from Young to get the partisan crowd to its feet.

St. Bonaventure closed the half on a small 6-2 run to cut the Mountaineers' halftime lead to 33-16.

The second half started out slowly for both teams, but the Bonnies were quick to prove they weren't going to quit. However, the former A-10 rivals would never cut the lead into single digits in the second half.

During one stretch starting at the 16:36 mark, St. Bonaventure scored on five straight possessions, ending at the 12:47 mark, but WVU methodically kept pace, and the brown-clad visitors only managed to cut the lead by two points, at 47-34.

The Bonnies still had some fight left in them, and after a Dunston layup, the Mountaineer lead was once again 13 points at 53-40 with 6:49 remaining in the game. This time, however, the Mountaineers woke up and put the game away.

J.D. Collins hit WVU's only second-half three-pointer to ignite a quick 9-3 run to extend the Mountaineer lead to 62-43 with 4:02 remaining. Herber had four points, an assist and two rebounds during the run which brought the crowd to their feet for the first time in the second half.

Again the Bonnies wouldn't quit, however, and while the Mountaineers chipped in with four straight missed free throws, St. Bonaventure began to heat up. At the 1:59 mark, Ahmad Smith banked home a three-pointer to cut the lead to 12 at 65-53. It was as close as the Bonnies had been since the score was 20-8 in the first half, but was also as close as they would come the rest of the way.

Nichols drained three of four from the line in the last minute, and Sally closed out the scoring with two charity tosses to make the final score 70-55. Appropriately, Gansey got a steal on the Bonnies' last possession.

West Virginia (5-0) faces Coppin State this Saturday in the Coliseum while St. Bonaventure (0-6) travels to face Arkansas State.

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