After each game, BlueGoldNews.com selects a standout performer as Player of the Game while also highlighting other quick nuggets and factoids.
What a difference a week makes for Wellington Smith and the Mountaineers. One week ago at the Peterson Events Center, it was Smith who momentarily lost sight of Pitt guard Ronald Ramon, allowing the senior sharpshooter to drain a Backyard Brawl buzzer beater.
On Thursday night against Rutgers, Smith bounced back in a big way with a career-high 14 points to lead WVU to its 17th win of the season. Smith also collected eight rebounds, dished out three assists, and emphatically swatted away three Rutgers shots to leave his mark on the Scarlet Knights.
Smith's effort was outstanding, but he certainly wasn't the lone reason West Virginia came away with an 18-point win. Five Mountaineers finished in double figures, led by Joe Alexander's 15 points.
The Mountaineers also bounced back at the foul line, finishing 23-26 after a dismal 7-17 effort during the loss to Pitt.
West Virginia forced 17 turnovers, and capitalized on nearly every Rutgers miscue. The Mountaineers scored 29 points off of RU turnovers, while committing just four mistakes of their own.
Rutgers head coach Fred Hill was visibly frustrated for much of the night, which is understandable given his team's performance. How bad of a night was it for the second-year RU head man? After a travel was called on J.R. Inman in the second half, Hill kicked the scorer's table adjacent to the Rutgers bench. Mind you he wasn't upset at the call, which was caught not only by all three officials but also by the 7,826 associate referees in attendance. Hill was simply frustrated with yet another Scarlet Knights error, and took out his frustration on the scorer's table.
The "kick heard 'round the Coliseum" caught the attention of official Doug Shows, who immediately assessed Hill with a technical foul. The kick was strong enough to knock the Rutgers radio broadcast off the air.