John Flowers scored eight consecutive points in the first half to help push West Virginia to an early lead to earn player of the game honors in WVU's 92-66 road win over Seton Hall.
Flowers, coming off the bench early in the contest, threw down back-to-back dunks, hit a pair of free throws and canned a jumper to stake WVU to a 20-13 lead in the early going. Flowers was not a one-stretch wonder, however, as he played 26 minutes while recording 14 points and seven rebounds. Making the performance even more impressive was the fact that he did it on a sprained ankle suffered in practice earlier in the week.
Flowers also had a game-sealing offensive rebound and hoop in the second half at a critical juncture. After the Pirates had scored seven consecutive points to cut West Virginia's 15 point lead to eight, Flowers snared a Da'Sean Butler miss and laid it back in to push WVU's lead to ten. That score seemed to break the Pirates' back, as West Virginia went on a 16-4 run to put the game away.
West Virginia's bench scoring was a key factor in the contest. The Mountaineers outscored the Pirates 16-0 in the first half, and ended with 33 points from its subs. Flowers, along with Kevin Jones, sparked WVU's backups with key baskets at several points in the contest, helping the visiting Mountaineers maintain their lead. Jones wound up with 12 points, a new career high for the freshman. More impressively, he did that damage, and added five rebounds, in just 13 minutes of action.
West Virginia's free throw shooting was also critical in helping keep it ahead throughout the game. Shooting just 62% coming in, WVU canned 15 of its first 18 tries and finished at 20-25 for a mark of 80%. The final score certainly didn't reflect the tenor of the game, especially in the first half, when the Pirates managed to keep in touch with the Mountaineers, but West Virginia's accuracy from the foul line gave WVU some breathing room.
Six Mountaineers finished in double figures, and that balance put the already defense-challenged Pirates in a huge hole. Seton Hall yielded 92 points to WVU's offense, including 52 in a freewheeling second half. Had West Virginia been more aggressive in attacking the basket after breaking the Hall's pressure when it crossed halfcourt, it could easily have topped 100 points.