WVU Crushes UNH, Looks to GW

Mike Gansey scored 16 points as West Virginia tied a school-record for three-pointers in beating New Hampshire 82-48 Tuesday.

The game served as a final tune-up for West Virginia's difficult non-conference games. The Mountaineers, 8-0 for the first time in 22 years, play host to No. 20 George Washington Dec. 29, then head to No. 16 N.C. State four days later.

It will be the first time WVU has played regular season back-to-back ranked teams non-conference since 1984.

It will also be its first true test. West Virginia has yet to play a ranked foe and has beaten teams by an average of 27 points.

Against New Hampshire, the Mountaineers hit 14 three-pointers and led 41-15 at the half. The Wildcats (4-5) had just four field goals then, marking the fourth-straight game WVU has held its foe to less than 22 points at the break.

It was so lopsided that West Virginia's student section clapped sarcastically when New Hampshire finally scored, 6:29 into the game. WVU led 14-0 by then on the strength of four straight three-pointers.

The Mountaineers last three gave them their largest lead at 82-38. New Hampshire scored the last 10 points of the game.

Darris Nichols and Kevin Pittsnogle came off the West Virginia bench to score 10 points each. Blagoj Janev led New Hampshire with 12 points.

The contest quickly deteriorated into a team three-point contest. Patrick Beilein – which leads the Big East in three-point shooting – missed an NBA-range three-pointer, then got a pass off the rebound and missed again as WVU seemed to toy with the Wildcats. Even 7-0 center Luke Bonner took five threes against his home state school.

West Virginia ranks third in the NCAA, averaging more than 10 three-pointers per game. It is the highest average in school history.

WVU will try to go 9-0 for first time since 1959 against George Washington, 7-1 after an opening-game loss to No. 5 Wake Forest.

It will be the first time West Virginia has hosted a ranked non-conference foe since Tennessee in 2000.

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