The staff of BlueGoldNews.com picks the outstanding player and performances from the West Virginia - St. John's game.
Freshman forward John Flowers had perhaps his most impressive performance as a Mountaineer in West Virginia's 73-64 win over struggling St. John's Thursday night at the WVU Coliseum.
Flowers finisehd the game with 10 points, making all but one of his five field goal attempts and sinking both of his three-point tries in the win. Flowers played just 16 minutes, but provided outstanding energy and production off the Mountaineer bench.
"The kid that makes the really big plays is Flowers," said St. John's head coach Norm Roberts afterward. "He made some 3s. We knew he could shoot, but he made some huge, huge shots."
"He is getting better and more comfortable as the game goes on," added WVU head coach Bob Huggins. "When he learns to practice hard, then he will be a great player."
Sophomore forward Da'Sean Butler could have easily been named BGN's Player of the Game were it not for the outstanding contributions of his freshman understudy. Butler finished with 19 points and nine rebounds while playing a team-high 32 minutes. More importantly, the Newark product was able to stay out of foul trouble from beginning to end. Butler has been plagued by foul trouble throughout the season, fouling out four times.
A pair of redshirt freshman, guard Jonnie West and forward Cam Thoroughman, gave the Mountaineers solid minutes down the stretch. Though the score sheet says they played just two minutes combined, both players made the most of their rare opportunity. West sank three of four foul shots, and grabbed the game's final rebound to end any threat of an improbable St. John's comeback. Thoroughman was called into action after Joe Alexander was unable to go after a nasty collision, and sophomore Wellington Smith was disqualified with five fouls.
St. John's was able to punish the Mountaineers in the paint, particularly on the glass. The Red Storm outrebounded West Virginia by a final of 39-30, and accumulated 26 points in the paint. The Johnnies also netted 10 second chance points, courtesy of 13 offensive boards.