No. 23 West Virginia overcomes sluggish start, routs Long Beach State
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Once West Virginia turned on the heat, there was too much offense for Long Beach State.
Lamont West paved the way with 22 points, one shy of a career high, and the 23rd-ranked Mountaineers beat the 49ers, 91-62, on Monday night.
For the second time in a week, West Virginia (3-1) started out sluggish, trailing LBSU, 9-6, at the first media timeout.
WVU responded with an 18-5 run over the next 6 minutes, 32 seconds and finished the first half with a 10-1 run to create some cushion.
The 49ers (2-2) took advantage of a Mountaineers scoring drought in the second half but couldn't come to within 15 points of the lead.
“I thought we played hard,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said. “In all fairness to them, I think they were a little tired.”
Sagaba Konate had a career-high 20 points, and Chase Harler added 14 points, also a career high. Wesley Harris led the Mountaineers with nine rebounds.
“He works on his game,” West said of Konate. “I (saw) Sags throughout the whole summer working on his jump shot. Even last year, when he didn't shoot it, he was practicing it. He always had the confidence to shoot it. It was just the coaches letting him shoot it.”
Gabe Levin matched a career-high 23 points and added 11 rebounds. Bryan Alberts added a career-high 20 points.
“I'd say for the most part, I thought we did a lot of good things,” Long Beach State coach Dan Monson said. “But against a team of that magnitude, you've got to have 40 minutes of solid basketball and I just thought the last two minutes of the half just doomed us.”