BlueGoldNews.com picks the outstanding players and performances from the WVU - Duquesne game
The maturation of freshman Darryl Bryant continued in West Virginia's 68-63 win over Duquesne -- which made him a clear choice for player of the game honors.
Bryant spearheaded WVU's furious second-half rally and finished with 18 points and two assists against just two turnovers. Despite facing a tenacious Dukes press, Bryant handled the pressure well, giving the ball up just once in the backcourt in 36 minutes from action.
Although Bryant failed to connect from three-point range, he got into the lane repeatedly in the second half, hitting six of his 11 tries form inside the arc. He also coolly canned six consecutive free throws down the stretch to keep West Virginia's narrow lead intact.
Bryant alo had two assists and a steal.
West Virginia's defense was again key in the contest. The Mountaineers didn't allow Duquesne to score a field goal in the second half until more than eight and one-half minutes elapsed, which allowed them to erase an eight point halftime deficit. It also prevented the Dukes from getting into their full-court press, which bothered WVU in the first half. West Virginia had 10 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.
Devin Ebanks also continued to grow. After a somewhat tentative first half, the lanky freshman went to the basket aggressively in the second, finishing with 15 points and ten rebounds. That marks the third consecutive double-double for the New York native. He also had four assists, a block and a steal.
Wellington Smith also had the type of productivity that WVU will need in order to make an impression in the Big East. He tallied 12 points and seven rebounds while blocking four shots, including a big swat that helped key the Mountaineers' second half defensive run. He also had the highlight of the game -- a follow-up rebound dunk that nearly tore the rim from its supports.