The WVU basketball team earned a decisive win over what head coach Bob Huggins called a good team on Monday.
The Mountaineers beat Long Beach State, 91-62, and it really wasn’t even that close. To the casual observer this would seem like quite the ho-hum early-season victory. However Huggins feels it should be noted as a quality win.
“That’s a lot better win than people realize,” Huggins told reporters after the game. “They’re going to win their league and probably beat some other people as well.”
The win brought the Mountaineers to 3-1 on the year and Long Beach State is now 2-2. Long Beach State beat San Francisco and San Francisco State this season and previously fell to Oregon State. That loss to the Beaver was by just two points.
The Mountaineers were led by its big men, which is a good sign to see. The WVU basketball offense should be based off working the ball to the hole and getting second chance opportunities. For West Virginia, Lamont West scored 22 points and Sagaba Konate added 20. Konate forced his will down low by blocking four shots and grabbing seven rebounds.
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The WVU basketball team had 48 rebounds, compared to 36 by Long Beach. Wesley Harris led with nine boards and West grabbed eight. West Virginia had 21 second-chance points, compared to nine by Long Beach.
Overall, it was the type of game that the WVU basketball team needs to play. The Mountaineers were effective in every capacity. They took well-advised shots, did work underneath the rim, and played disciplined defense. The Mountaineers had 11 steals with star guard Jevon Carter getting three steals, himself.
Carter also scored in double figures, dropping 13 points. West Virginia native Chase Harler, a threat from long range, scored a career-high 14 points. Harler was four of six from behind-the-arc.
The game leads into the tournament portion of the Advocare Invitational. The Mountaineers now head to Disney World’s Wide World of Sports Complex to play Marist on Thursday night.
Should the WVU basketball team beat Marist, it will take on the winner of Nebraska-Central Florida on Friday.