Our picks for the outstanding performances from West Virginia's first round NIT win over the Delaware State Hornets.
Just five days after what was arguably the worst game of his career, sophomore guard Alex Ruoff had what could arguably be his best performance in Blue and Gold. Ruoff scored 14 points, dished out nine assists, and snared six rebounds in West Virginia's 74-50 victory.
Alex's scoring came in a variety of ways. Whether it was a backdoor cut against the sleeping Hornet defense, or driving to the hoop off the dribble, Ruoff found ways to get it done tonight. And when he wasn't scoring, he was certainly making his presence felt in other ways as the statistics would indicate.
For one of the few times in the John Beilein era, the other team took more threes than the Mountaineers...a lot more. Beilein's boys would likely have let Delaware State take as many shots from downtown as they pleased, given that the Hornets finished just 6-29 from behind the arc. That includes a 1-14 performance in the first half, many of which weren't even good shots to begin with.
The center position was very productive for the home team on Tuesday night. Senior starter Rob Summers finished with seven points, six rebounds, one assist, and one blocked shot. Jamie Smalligan came off the bench to contribute 13 points on 6-6 shooting, while also collecting four rebounds. As a team, the Mountaineers outscored Delaware State 38-16 in the paint.
The win for Beilein was his 100th as WVU's head coach. The win over Delaware State was typical Beilein Ball as the Mountaineers got open looks from downtown, mixed in a few backdoor cuts, and assisted on two-thirds of their made baskets en route to the lopsided victory.