CHARLESTON, W.Va. - No. 15/16 West Virginia showed why they are one of the top teams in the country as they used a suffocating press to drop Western Carolina 90-37 Wednesday night inside the Charleston Civic Center. WCU turned the ball over 34 times which is the most turnovers in the Larry Hunter era surpassing the previous high of 25 which was set during Hunter’s first season at Western against Georgia.
WCU shot just 26.0 percent (13-50) from the field including 22.2 percent (4-18) from 3-point range. The Mountaineers connected on 49.2 percent (30-61) of their shots including 30.8 percent (8-26) from long range.
The win gives WVU a 7-1 record while the Catamounts dropped to 3-6 on the year.
The Mountaineers worked their way to the free throw line 31 times while limiting WCU to just 10 shots from the charity stripe.
Junior Haboubacar Mutombo, freshman Onno Steger and freshman Adam Sledd shared the team lead with six points each while sophomore Marc Gosselin led the Catamounts on the boards with 10 rebounds. Freshman Yalim Olcay added six boards in just 14 minutes of action off the bench.
West Virginia placed three scorers in double-figures including Esa Ahmad who scored a game-high 14. Jevon Carter added 13 while Teyvon Myers had 10.
WCU and WVU tied with 36 rebounds each but West Virginia dominated in nearly every other statistical category.
The Catamounts got off to a rough start scoring just 12 points in the opening 20 minutes of action and trailed 46-12 at the break. WCU added 25 points in the second half while the Mountaineers scored 44.
WCU’s 34 turnovers led to 37 points for West Virginia while the Catamounts were unable to convert any of WVU’s 13 turnovers into points.
The Catamounts will now take off nine days to take final exams and prepare for a tough test at mountain rival UNC Asheville on Dec. 17.