WVU basketball beats American University

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 15: Maciej Bender /

It came a few days later than originally expected, but the WVU basketball team earned its first win of the season on Wednesday.

The Mountaineers beat American University, 98-64, at home in front of 9,180 fans at the WVU Coliseum. West Virginia fell in its season opener to Texas A&M late last week.

The WVU basketball team played a lot better against American than it did against the Aggies. It was a large step down in competition, but the Mountaineers seemed more comfortable on offense and didn’t wilt down the stretch run like they did previously.

The offense was paced by both seniors on the WVU basketball team, Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr., who each scored 20 points. James Bolden added 16 points, Teddy Allen had 14 and Lamont West scored 12.

After attempting 40 3-pointers against Texas A&M, the Mountaineers only shot 16 times from behind-the-arc against American. Five 3-pointers went in, with Bolden drilling three of them. The Mountaineers did a better job of looking inside to score with 42 points coming in the paint.

It was all done without Sagaba Konate, though. The normal starting center was on the bench for the entire contest. According to Allen Taylor, Konate’s absence will not be prolonged. It was just head coach Bob Huggins’ way of sending a message.

Konate has the ability to change the game for the Mountaineers. The WVU basketball team was fine in his absence, but he will need to show up and deliver throughout the Big 12 slate of games.

There are still 11 out of conference games to play before the conference opener against Oklahoma State on Dec. 29. The WVU basketball team proved that this year won’t be a cake walk, like some may have predicted it to be. If the Mountaineers truly are the second-best team in the Big 12, it needs to prove it.

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The defense can play alongside the best teams in the conference, but the offense needs to be consistent. A strong performance like what was had against American will go a long way for the rest of the season.