In a game that was nothing if not a must-win for West Virginia, senior guard Alex Ruoff came up big for the Mountaineers. Mired in a miserable nine-of-35 slump from three-point range over the past five games, Ruoff busted out in a big way against the Friars.
The Spring Hill, Fla. native knocked down six-of-seven from downtown en route to pouring in a game-high 24 points. Ruoff scored 14 points in the first half as WVU raced out to an insurmountable 42-27 halftime advantage.
As usual, he filled out the stat sheet in other areas as well, finishing with six assists, five rebounds and four steals.
WVU found the soft middle of the 1-2-2 zone of PC and exploited it by knocking down a ton of mid-range jump shots. Doing much of the damage was freshman forward Kevin Jones, who scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds in 22 minutes of play. John Flowers was also able to find the middle of the zone, with both of his field goals coming from mid-range.
On this day, it was the defense that won out. Providence made just three of its 18 attempts from three-point range, which was a a big reason why the Mountaineers were able to race out to such a big lead and never look back. Nearly every one of those 18 attempts was contested, much to the delight of WVU head coach Bob Huggins.
One streak that did continue was West Virginia's recent dominance over the Friars. The Mountaineers have now won five straight over Providence, four of which have come with Bob Huggins at the helm.