West Virginia dominates Bellarmine, remains undefeated at home

West Virginia dominates Bellarmine, remains undefeated at home

NCAA Basketball: Bellarmine at West Virginia
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountaineers played disciplined defense against the Knights’ gimmicky offense and cruised to a 19-point victory

West Virginia made light work of Bellarmine on Tuesday night, dominating the Knights 74-55 in Morgantown. The win marked No. 906 for Bob Huggins, leaving him just 14 wins shy of tying Jim Calhoun for third place all-time.

FIRST HALF

The first ten minutes of the game were a feeling out process for the Mountaineers, as they tried to figure out Bellarmine’s perpetually moving offense. This allowed the Knights to keep the score close, as the two teams traded shots and the lead, with Bellarmine holding a 12-11 lead at the under 12 minute media timeout.

The shots eventually began to fall for WVU, as the Mountaineers scored eight unanswered points to reclaim and extend the lead. Bellarmine’s pass-heavy attack would allow them to keep them within striking distance of West Virginia in the final minutes of the half, with the Mountaineers controlling a 37-30 lead entering halftime.

SECOND HALF

Coming out of the half, West Virginia ramped up the defense and began building a double digit lead. Sean McNeil, who spent one week at Bellarmine as a freshman, scored eight points in the second half as West Virginia extended the lead to as much as 29 points. The Mountaineer defensive effort forced Bellarmine to 29.4% turnover percentage, more than double of that in the first half, shutting the door on the Knights.

FINAL STATS

Taz Sherman led the Mountaineers with 18 points, 3 assists. Sean McNeil finished with 14 points, 2 assists against his former team. Malik Curry added 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists off the bench. Jalen Bridges finished with 8 points, 9 boards and Pauly Paulicap chipped in 6 points.

COMING UP NEXT

The Mountaineers are back in action on Saturday when they welcome the Radford Highlanders (4-4), led by former West Virginia standout Darris Nichols, into the WVU Coliseum. That game will tip off at 4:00PM ET and will once again be broadcast exclusively on Big 12 Now on ESPN+