West Virginia overcame another sluggish start to dominate the University of Maryland-Baltimore County 82-53 on Wednesday. The Mountaineers didn't score for the first three minutes, then hit five three-pointers in six minutes just before the half to pull away.

It was the second time in three games that WVU (5-3) had to jumpstart a rally to beat an overmatched foe. It used its superior shooting both times.

Mike Gansey scored 24 points – five off a career high – and Kevin Pittsnogle added 18 in the well-rounded shooting effort.

Eighteen of Gansey's points came in the first half, including six in a key 12-0 run. The Mountaineers hit four consecutive three-pointers in the push, turning a 20-16 lead into a 32-16 advantage with 4:14 left in the first half.

"I thought when we got to 20-16, we settled down, but then West Virginia hit three of four straight threes to open the game," UMBC head coach Randy Monroe said. "Our guys heads dropped a little bit."

Gansey hit two three-pointers in the run, and Pittsnogle and Patrick Beilein added one each. All three rank in the top 10 in school history in three-point shooting percentage, with Gansey recently passing Beilein, his roommate.

The push was part of a 22-5 closing run as WVU led 42-21 at the break. It then scored 13 of the first 15 second-half points for a 54-24 lead with 17:22 left. The last basket, a lay-in from Gansey for his final points, capped a 35-7 run spanning the halves.

"We have so many great shooters on our team," Gansey said. "Having every guy out there able to shoot is tough for defenses. It is tough to guard teams with five guys who can shoot the three."

The Mountaineers made eight of 15 three-pointers in the first half and finished 13 of 29. UMBC converted just one of eight three-point shots in losing its 20th road game in its last 22 and its last eight.

The Retrievers (2-4) were led by John Zito's 17 points. Jerrell Dinkins and Chris Pugh each added 11. UMBC is now 0-11 all-time versus Big East teams. WVU is 5-0 against America East squads.

Pittsnogle, WVU's career leader in three-point shooting percentage, made three of six shots from behind the arc and led the Mountaineers to a 32-26 points in the paint edge. West Virginia took its biggest lead, at 80-44 with 5:22 left, on Tyler Ruoff's three-pointer. UMBC, the third-youngest Division I program, never got closer than 80-52 afterward. It had 12 first-half turnovers – and 25 overall – that led to 19 points.

Beilein, a senior, hit two three-pointers and now needs just six more to tie the school record of 200 set by Chris Leonard from 1989-92.

"I know he and Kevin are on some record paces," WVU head coach John Beilein said. "We won't pay attention until it happens though."

West Virginia is now 15-0 in December home games under the fourth-year head coach.

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