MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Casey Mitchell continued his run of high-scoring games, pouring in 27 points to lead West Virginia to a 71-50 victory over American University on Wednesday night.
Kevin Jones added 16 points for the Mountaineers (5-1), who played their first home game since Nov. 18.
Mitchell, the 2009 National Junior College Athletic Association Player of the Year, is emerging as the star West Virginia was seeking after the losses of emotional leaders Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks to the NBA. Mitchell is averaging 22.3 points this season.
Against the Eagles, Mitchell went 8 of 11 from the field, 1 of 3 from 3-point range and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line to go along with three steals.
The Mountaineers got a lead early and never relinquished it thanks to a strong defensive performance. American had only 20 points at the half and shot 36.7 percent (18 for 49) from the field and 20 percent from 3-point range over the course of the game.
The Mountaineers shot 51 percent from the field (26 of 51), made of 16 of 23 free throws, and had 16 offensive rebounds.
West Virginia also outmuscled the Eagles in the paint, with a 30-20 scoring advantage inside and a 34-28 rebounding advantage.
Truck Bryant and Dan Jennings played significant minutes for West Virginia after sitting out the entire game against Virginia Military Institute for disciplinary reasons.
Although the two were benched for a lack of effort in practice leading up to the game, both players showed signs of improvement.
Bryant, who started, scored nine points in 26 minutes and Jennings had a dunk, a block and three rebounds in 7 minutes.
The victory marks the 32nd consecutive home win in the month of December for the Mountaineers.
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Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.