MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles both scored 20 points as No. 24 West Virginia thumped American 98-64 on Wednesday night at the Coliseum.
James “Beetle” Bolden scored 16 points. Teddy Allen had 14 and Lamont West added 12.
Carter grabbed seven boards and had nine steals and seven assists.
“I thought JC was terrific in the second half, but I didn’t think he was very good in the first half,” head coach Bob Huggins said.
Sa’eed Nelson tallied 17 points for the Eagles. Larry Motuzi had 15.
The Mountaineers forced 22 turnovers and had 14 steals.
Bolden started the second half with the hot hand, scoring seven straight points, a 3-pointer, a layup and two free throws. That was the start of a 19-2 run, giving WVU a 65-37 lead with 12:57 left.
“We just came out slow. Coach gave us that pep talk at halftime and we just came out and turned it up,” Bolden said.
“I think we just had to find our rhythm,” Miles said.
In the first half, the Mountaineers appeared sluggish from the start.
“We had shots in the first half, we just didn’t make any and we forced things,” Huggins said. “We didn’t really take what we had. I thought we did a better job in the second half of taking what they gave us.”
WVU and American were nodded at 24-24 with 6:30 left in the first half.
Miles’ alley-op dunk from Carter with 5:16 remaining in the first half gave the Mountaineers a 28-24 lead.
Carter found Miles again for with 1:10 left in the half. After Bolden’s steal from Cheikh Diallo, Allen drained a 3-pointer to push WVU ahead 41-29.
The Mountaineers led 44-33 at the half.
WVU shot 51 percent from the floor, connected on 5-of-16 from beyond the arc and shot 74 percent from the charity stripe.
The Eagles shot 46 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3-point range.
Sagaba Konate was dressed but did not get into the game.
“It wasn’t a suspension or anything, I just didn’t want to play him,” Huggins said. “That’s my prerogative. Coach’s decision.”
Next up for the Mountaineers is Morgan State on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Coliseum.
Cover Photo Credit: Ben Queens-USA Today Sports