West Virginia won its second game in a row with an 89-68 trouncing of the struggling Seton Hall Pirates on Sunday afternoon inside the WVU Coliseum.
Outstanding performances were prevalent up and down the stat sheet for the Mountaineers, leaving the BlueGoldNews.com staff with a long-winded debate as to who Sunday's Player of the Game was. After much debate, sophomore forward Wellington Smith got the nod by the slimmest of margins.
Smith, playing against his home-state Pirates, turned in a second consecutive strong performance, finishing with eight points, eight rebounds, and six blocked shots in 23 minutes of play. Five of Smith's boards came on the offensive end, the most impressive of which was an emphatic put-back slam off a Joe Alexander miss.
West Virginia's junior tandem of Alex Ruoff and Joe Alexander look to be rounding back into form as the season hits the stretch run. Ruoff and Alexander combined for 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists against just one turnover. Alexander narrowly missed his second consecutive double-double, finishing with 13 points and nine boards to go along with a game-high six assists.
The Mountaineer bench had one of its most productive outings of the season, outscoring the Seton Hall subs by a count of 32-5. Crowd favorites Ted Talkington and Jarrett Brown combined for 11 points and three 3s, leaving both their teammates and the 10,074 in attendance in a frenzy.
Senior point guard Darris Nichols has now played in more games than any other Mountaineer cager. Nichols, the lone holdover from the 2005 NCAA Elite Eight squad, currently shows a consecutive games streak of 129. The captain finished Sunday's game with 11 points, five assists, and four steals. More importantly, West Virginia's sizeable advantage for much of the game allowed Nichols to get some much-needed rest heading into Wednesday's game at Villanova.