MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Juwan Staten scored a career-high 20 points as West Virginia slugged Mount St. Mary's 77-62 in the opener for both teams.
Staten connected on 7-of-10 shots and 8-of-10 free throws to best his previous career total of 18 against Virginia Military Institute on Nov. 28, 2012. Eron Harris had 19, Nathan Adrian 11 and Brandon Watkins added 10.Shooting is a point of emphasis for coach Bob Huggins' team this season after it shot about 41 percent last year, and, at least for one night, it showed.The Mountaineers' overall shooting percentage against Mount St. Mary's was 56 percent (28 of 50). To put that in perspective, the best shooting night for the WVU Mountaineers last season was 56.5 (26 of 46) against Texas Tech on Feb. 2, 2013.It was Huggins' 724th all-time win against 286 losses. Those 724 tie Ray Meyer for 18th place all-time among NCAA Division I coaches. Huggins is the third winningest active head coach behind Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim.Julian Norfleet scored 19 and was the only double figures scorer for Mount St. Mary's.When West Virginia's first two 3-point shots were good inside the game's first 3 minutes the home crowd had a warm feeling about how the team might fill it up in its inaugural effort of the season.Staten pulled down five rebounds to go with six assists, while Adrian was 4-of-4 from 3-point range. Eron Harris was 6-of-12 from the floor and Watkins was 5-of-7.West Virginia's final single-digit lead of the game came at 41-32, but Adrien, a Morgantown native, knocked in his first 3-pointer of the second half to give the WVU Mountaineers' a 44-32 pad. Mount St. Mary's never could break into a single-digit deficit again.WVU's largest lead was 16 with one minute to go in the game.The West Virginia Mountaineers, who had only eight able-bodied scholarship players for the game, is 66-3 at home against non-conference teams in the last nine years, including 47 of its last 48 games.The Mountaineers are 98-6 under Huggins when posting a higher shooting percentage than its opponent. Mount St. Mary's was 40 percent (22-of-55).