West Virginia used a strong second half to runaway from pesky Duquesne thanks to a well-balanced effort on both ends of the court.
While Joe Alexander led the scoring column for West Virginia, sophomore forward Da'Sean Butler edged his junior teammate for BlueGoldNews.com Player of the Game honors.
Butler scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out four assists, and recorded two steals to round out the stat sheet for WVU. The Newark, N.J. native was seven-of-nine from the floor, making his only three-point attempt in 36 minutes of play. Butler also avoided the foul trouble that has so often plagued him throughout the first part of the season, enabling him to stay on the court and maximize his productivity.
Alexander continued his recent hot streak with a career-high 26 points in the win over the Dukes. Joe did much of his work against talented Shawn James, one of the nation's leading shot-blockers coming into the game, and held the big man to just one swat.
In the first half, West Virginia looked a wee bit frazzled against the swarming and diverse full-court pressure employed by the Dukes. The Mountaineers turned the ball over 12 times in the opening 20 minutes, leading to 15 Duquesne points.
In the final frame, though, the Mountaineers pulled a complete 180, committing just three turnovers the rest of the way and not giving up any more points off of miscues.
Freshman John Flowers had what could easily be considered his best game as a Mountaineer. The athletic forward was six-of-eight from the floor, finishing with 13 points and two blocked shots in 18 minutes.