POG: West Virginia-UMBC

Our picks for West Virginia's outstanding players and performances in Saturday's win over visiting Maryland-Baltimore County.

Leading the way once again for West Virginia was junior forward Joe Alexander, who continued his progression to stardom with 20 points and eight rebounds against the Retrievers. Alexander took over the game for a stretch in the first half on both ends of the court, propelling the Mountaineers from a slim lead to a more comfortable margin.

More impressive than the stretch in the first half was the fact that the jumpin' junior was calm and collected throughout the game. Alexander was nine for 11 from the field, and did not take a single bad shot in 29 minutes of play. At this point, the initial surprise of Alexander's emergence is wearing off as the Mt. Airy, Md. native continues to string together impressive performance after impressive performance.

"I think we all realize how gifted Joe is," said head coach Bob Huggins. "We shouldn't be surprised or want to throw a parade because Joe got 20 and eight. We should expect him to get 20 and eight or 20 and 10 every time out.

"If Joe doesn't give us 18 to 20, and doesn't give us eight to ten rebounds, we're not going to win the Big East."

NET BURNERS:

  • Sophomore forward Da'Sean Butler had another quiet, but productive game. Butler finished with 14 points and nine rebounds on the evening, with the latter statistic being a game-high.

  • Point guard Darris Nichols found his scoring stroke again, but continues to be plagued by a slump from behind the three-point arc. Nichols scored 16 points against UMBC, but was 0-3 from three-point land. Nichols undoubtedly hopes to bust out of the shooting slump this coming Wednesday in a game against his hometown Radford Highlanders.

  • The Mountaineers bullied their way to 15 offensive rebounds, leading to 17 second chance points. Overall, West Virginia outrebounded UMBC by a final tally of 39-24.

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