The Mountaineers showed no signs of struggles without last year’s senior leader, as this new-look group easily defeated the Pioneers 95-53.
Perhaps this team’s most experienced player, senior forward Deniz Kilicli, was at his best. He finished with 19 points – 15 of those coming in the first half – and three rebounds in less than 20 minutes. He didn’t miss a shot until the second half.
“We still had a lot of people not knowing what they're doing, but overall it looked better. People are learning. That's good to see,” Kilicli said. "You can practice as much as you want, but a game is a different situation. It's good to get out there and as a good team react to things other teams do."
Without Jones and fellow departing senior Truck Bryant in the starting lineup, WVU head coach Bob Huggins went with a less-experienced but more athletic starting five. Point guard Juwan Staten, guard Jabari Hinds and forwards Keaton Miles, Aaric Murray and Kilicli were the five to get the nod from the Mountaineers’ veteran head coach.
Boston College transfer Matt Humphrey was the first player of the bench, followed by forward Kevin Noreen and guard Gary Browne. Four other WVU players made an appearance in a blowout-style first half.
"If some guys can't play harder than they played tonight, they won't play. If they haven't grown up yet, they're not going to grow up," said head coach Bob Huggins.
The newcomers to the starting lineup – Murray and Staten – made significant impacts on the game, something they are expected to do this season. Murray had 13 points and nine rebounds. Staten had 16 points and six assists.
“We're doing what we need to do, but we need to do it more consistently," Staten said. "I like a win over a loss, and I know the team is on board with that."
In total, West Virginia shot 50 percent from the field, out-rebounded Glenville State by 12 and had 42 more points in the paint.
The Mountaineers did struggle from beyond the arc, as they hit just 1-of-14 attempts.
West Virginia didn’t have much trouble with Glenville State, as it scored the first six points of the game and didn’t let the Pioneers score until the 15:23 mark of the first half.
"There's a lot of stuff to do," Huggins said. "It's not like we're not putting the time in, we just didn't compete. We did at first, but then we stopped competing."
The Mountaineers would climb to a 15-2 advantage after a 9-0 run sparked by two layups from forward Kevin Noreen forcing a timeout from Glenville State.
WVU would allow the Pioneers to stay within striking distance for much of the first half, though they would never get within 10 points.
West Virginia struggled from the outside in the first half, but forward Keaton Miles finally drained the team’s first three to put the Mountaineers up 28-9.
The lead continued to grow, and WVU went to the locker room up 48-22. Kilicli had 15 points in the first half. Murray added nine. Staten had eight.
West Virginia shot 55.9 percent from the field and was 18-of-25 from inside the arc. The Mountaineers, however, were just 1-of-9 from 3-point range.
WVU outrebounded Glenville State by 14 in the first half and forced 11 Pioneer turnovers.
The second half was more of the same, as the Mountaineers opened the lead up to 60-29 four minutes in behind some balanced scoring.
WVU would get sloppy near the end of the game, as it took many of its starters out and started to run up and down the floor more. It didn’t matter much, however, as the Mountaineers still won comfortably.
Even forward Volodymyr Gerun had 12 points - all in the second half.
All but three of the players who played for WVU scored in the contest. Glenville State didn’t have a player hit double figures in scoring until under four minutes to play in the contest.