POG: West Virginia - Providence

There were a number of outstanding players and performances as West Virginia got back to its winning ways with an 86-59 throttling of Providence College.

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.


  • During its recent two-game losing streak, West Virginia struggled to score the ball effectively against the 2-3 zone defense employed by both Louisville and Syracuse. On Saturday against Providence, the Mountaineers were facing a different zone, much to their delight.

    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.

  • The Friars entered the game on the heels of a 17-40 performance from downtown in a narrow loss to Villanova earlier this week. Meanwhile, WVU entered the game leading the league in three-point field goal percentage defense. Something had to give, right?

    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.

  • A couple of streaks came to an end with WVU's 86-59 win. First, PC's four-game streak of giving up at least 90 points in the game was snapped, albeit narrowly. Second, Da'Sean Butler's streak of six consecutive games with at least 20 points came to a halt as the junior forward netted 17 on seven-of-18 shooting.

    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.

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