WVU Downs Delaware 59-46 To Open Beilein Era

The Mountaineers handed WVU head coach John Beilein his first win with a 59-46 victory over the Delaware State Hornets.

Mountaineer basketball fans witnessed the beginning of the John Beilein era as the Blue and Gold hit the hard court against the Delaware State Hornets at the WVU Coliseum.

The young Mountaineer starting lineup combined for a total of five years experience in college basketball. Coach Beilien started Jarmon Collins 5-10 190 Fr) at point guard, Jo Herber (6-6 205 Fr) at shooting guard, Drew Schifino (6-3 200 So) at small forward, Josh Yeager (6-8 200 Sr) at forward and Kevin Pittsnogle (6-10 225 Fr) at power forward.

The game started at a snail's pace as Delaware State scored the game's first 4 points as the young Mountaineers were settling their nerves. West Virginia finally lit the scoreboard at the sixteen minute mark of the first half as Josh Yeager knocked down a three pointer.

After a 6-0 run by the Hornets, West Virginia pulled to within 1 point at 10-9 after bringing in Chaz Briggs, Patrick Beilein and Tyrone Sally off the bench.

"Sally did a great job for us in several areas," head coach John Beilein said after the contest.

For the next 10 minutes the teams traded baskets, including a Patrick Beilein 3 pointer and a Chaz Briggs dunk to give the Blue and Gold a 16-14 lead. For the remainder of the half the teams played to a 9-8 Hornet advantage to give the Mountaineers a 24-23 lead at half time.

The Mountaineers shot 43% from the field in the first half while committing 6 turnovers. Leading scorer for West Virginia was Josh Yeager with five points. Leading the Hornets was Andre Matthews with 10 points.

At the start of the second half the Mountaineers came out on fire. Aided by Martinsburg freshman Kevin Pittsnogle's three pointer, West Virginia scored the first 9 points of the half to take a 33-23 lead.

The Mountaineers then scored 7 of the next 11 points highlighted by Kevin Pittsnogle's second three pointer of the game. After the freshman's basket the Hornets went on a 9-2 run to pull within 6 points with 9:50 to go in the contest.

The Mountaineers then took control of the game after a Chaz Briggs steal and lay-up made the score 44-36. Aided by tough defense and a Drew Shifino three pointer the Mountaineers raced out to a 13-point lead with 6:50 remaining.

With 5:20 on the clock, Shifino netted his 14th point to give the Mountaineers their largest lead at 15 points.

Tyrone Sally and Josh Yeager wrapped up the Mountaineer scoring while Delaware State could only manage two points in the final two minutes to give John Beilein his first win as WVU's head coach.

Leading the way for the Mountaineers were Josh Yeager with 15 points and Drew Schifino with 14 points. The Mountaineers showed the disciplined, fundamental style of Beilein ball, as they turned the ball over only ten times while serving up sixteen assists.

"We have the goal of only turning the ball over ten times, so we met that one," Beilein said in reviewing the game. "We didn't shoot well, and we didn't rebound well, but we did protect the ball."


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