The early going was all ECU, as the Pirates raced out to an early 17-3 lead. The Mountaineers contributed to that run with four turnovers and generally lackadaisical play on the offensive end, which the homestanding Pirates were quick to capitalize on. WVU didn't get a fast break until twelve minutes remained in the opening half, and were outrebounded 12-5 over the same span.
After the horrendous start, the Mountaineers began to fight back, mostly on the shoulders of Bulger. The Pittsburgh native scored seven consecutive points to bring WVU back within five at 23-18, and finished the first half with 16 of West Virginia's 27 points.
Whatever it was that got West Virginia motivated after the early doldrums really kicked in after halftime. Trailing 32-27 at the break, WVU embarked on a crushing 23-2 run that turned the Pirates' hopes of an upset to dust. Fueled by a rare zone defensive look from head coach Mike Carey, the Mountaineers forced several turnovers and got their running game into high gear as the blew by the suddenly downtrodden ECU squad.
Joining Bulger in double figures were Yelena Leuchanka, who just missed a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Chakia Cole, who had a career-high 11 points.
West Virginia will face significantly better competition in their next contest, when they travel to the Lone Star State to take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders are 8-2, with a game against North Texas tonight before facing the Mountianeers on the 30th.