West Virginia went to New Jersey this week searching for its first Big East Conference road victory of the season. It will leave with a pair of wins, the latter of which was an 81-70 decision over Seton Hall on Saturday in East Rutherford.
Freshman forward Da'Sean Butler, a native of nearby Newark, led the Mountaineers with a career-high 21 points. Earlier in the week, Butler had set a previous career high of 17 points in the win at Rutgers. Against Seton Hall, Butler was 8-14 from the field including 3-5 from three-point range. Da'Sean also collected three steals on the defensive end of the court.
"He certainly likes the Garden State, and we're very happy for him," said head coach John Beilein of Butler's back-to-back career highs.
Though he was wearing basketball sneakers instead of ruby slippers, Butler proved once again that there really is "no place like home."
To their credit, the Pirates never quit playing. Despite the effort, though, they were never able to get within more than three points of the Mountaineers. That is due in large part to West Virginia's outstanding foul shooting. For the game, WVU was 23-25 from foul line. The Mountaineers missed just one foul shot in each half while never trailing.
Senior forward Frank Young played an excellent all-around game. The Tallahassee, Fla. native finished with 17 points, but was equally as impressive on defense. Young had four steals and a blocked shot to help thwart numerous attempts by the Pirates to get back into the game.
The Mountaineers did a great job of recognizing when and when not to push the tempo against the full-court pressure of Seton Hall, who prefers more of a frantic up-and-down pace compared to West Virginia's deliberate read-and-react attack. The Blue and Gold only used the fast break when they had the numbers in their favor, and for the most part avoided getting caught up in the type of game that the Pirates and head coach Bobby Gonzalez were hoping to play.