3-pointers reign supreme in West Virginia’s 106-72 win over Youngstown State

MORGANTOWN — Beetle Bolden said he knew teammate Chase Harler would be open.
Pretty good guess on this day, because everyone generally was.
“I didn’t have enough time to reach back, so I just whipped the pass behind my back to him,” Bolden said after scoring 15 points and adding five assists in West Virginia’s 106-72 victory against Youngstown State in front of an announced crowd of 10,849 inside the WVU Coliseum on Saturday.
Harler obliged by making the 3-pointer. There were a lot of those, too.
The Penguins (3-6) — in coach Jerrod Calhoun’s return to the Coliseum after being an assistant under Huggins from 2007-’12 — attempted 36 of them.
It missed the mark by three from being the most 3s ever attempted in a game against the Mountaineers (5-2).
“We wanted it,” Calhoun said afterward.
West Virginia, which has now won four straight and connected on 44 3-pointers during that stretch, wasn’t shy from behind the arc, either.
“As when he’s backing up; he’s not going to make it. He’s not going to get it over the rim.
“Th is running one way and has to stop and turn around and he doesn’t get it over the rim. It’s that way with everybody. That’s what everybody strives to get, and the guys who can make shots as they’re turning or going full speed are the great scorers. We don’t have a great scorer.”
The Mountaineers didn’t have one great scorer against the Penguins, they had about eight pretty good ones.
“I thought they made shots,” said Calhoun, who also faced his mentor in an exhibition game when he was the head coach at Fairmont State. “They ended up making 11 threes. I think Beetle is their guy. I said something to him at the end there. I root for these guys. Obviously, they’re my favorite team other than my team. He has to be their leader.”
Bolden was simply one of the guys in this one. He and Esa Ahmad tied for the team-high with 15 points.
Konate, who missed Wednesday’s win over Rider with a sore knee, added an efficient 14 points and nine rebounds in just 17 minutes of action.
Harris and Brandon Knapper each added 10 points and Harler and Logan Routt both added eight points.
For Routt, it was his second strong performance off the bench for the walk-on. He’s scored 15 points and added 11 rebounds over the past two games.
All the production saw West Virginia shoot 54 percent from the field and go 11 of 32 from 3-point range in what turned out to be a sort of tune-up for next Tuesday’s showdown against Florida, at Madison Square Garden.
“We have a lot of guys, who if they take the right shots, they’re going to make threes,” Huggins said. “I talked to Chase the other day about getting the ball up a little more, because he was shooting it flat. But, we have guys who can make shots and we can spread the floor.”
It was the first time the Mountaineers broke the 100-point barrier and the second time Youngstown State gave up more than 100 in a game this season.
During it’s four-game win streak, WVU is averaging 95.8 points per game. Whether or not that style of play is what better suits the Mountaineers, Huggins said is still up for debate.
“I think it’s the state of our game. Nobody passes the ball very well,” Huggins said. “Everything is drive it, drive it, drive it. To a large degree, it’s because what they’ve done with the rules.
“We’re going more and more European, which I don’t understand. We invented the game. We wrote the rules for the game. We’ve been the best basketball country forever. Why would we want to be like them? They should want to be like us?”

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