Presidents Voted Out

It wasn't always pretty, but the West Virginia Mountaineers improved to 4-3 on the young season with an 83-33 win over Division III Washington and Jefferson.

The Mountaineers never trailed in the contest, and played a very good game on the offensive end. Granted that with a vastly inferior opponent that should be expected, but it was still nice to see the Blue and Gold run their sets effectively.

In the second half, the story was defense as the Mountaineers held the Presidents to just eight points after intermission.

Leading the way for West Virginia was senior center Kevin Pittsnogle. The Martinsburg native finished with a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds. Kevin scored the game's first five points, and left the contest shooting 8-13, including 4-5 from downtown. With a three inch height advantage over W&J's tallest player, you kind of figured it would be a big night for the big man.

It wasn't all Pittsnogle though, as he had plenty of help. Mike Gansey finished the game with 12 points, five rebounds, and four steals. Joe Herber was the third Mountaineer in double-figures with 10 points.

As a team, West Virginia shot 48.4 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from three-point land. They had 21 assists on 30 baskets, and forced 23 W&J turnovers. The Blue and Gold committed just two fouls the entire game, one in each half.

The game also allowed head coach John Beilein to get a good look at his younger players. Freshmen scholarship players Joe Alexander and Alex Ruoff were both impressive in their minutes for the Blue and Gold.

Ruoff's jump shooting was subperb as he nailed three shots from downtown. While that may not seem that important now, it could pay huge dividends down the road if Ruoff is forced into more playing time due to injuries or foul trouble with the starters.

Alexander, meanwhile, made another highlight-worthy slam dunk late in the second half. The athletic freshman was back in action today after missing Wednesday night's win over St. Bonaventure due to a one game suspension for violating team rules.

This game was also unique in that there were several West Virginians on the court when it was all said and done.

Of course Pittsnogle played for the Mountaineers, and he was joined by state natives Ted Talkington, Josh Sowards, and Nate Tallman (all freshmen walk-ons.)

The Presidents had a pair of West Virginians on their roster as well. Charleston native and Presidents' point guard Nate Burton made his first career start. Also making an appearance for W&J was Wheeling native Derek Syrylo.

West Virginia unveiled its gold uniforms for the first time all season. They also busted out new shooting shirts. The new shirts are long-sleeved with a single gold horizontal stripe around the chest, and the flying WV logo in one corner.

The Mountaineers will next suit up on Wednesday night when they host the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

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