MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Kevin Jones scored 19 points and No. 8 West Virginia never trailed in dismantling Rutgers 86-52 on Wednesday night.
West Virginia (12-1, 3-0 Big East) bounced back from a 15-point loss and its lowest point total of the season at Purdue with its second-highest output and perhaps most complete game.
Da'Sean Butler and Darryl Bryant added 15 points apiece for West Virginia, which built a 17-point halftime lead and cruised from there.
Rutgers (9-5, 0-2) was held to its lowest point total of the season and lost its third straight game. Jonathan Mitchell led the Scarlet Knights with 17 points.
After turning the ball over 18 times at Purdue, West Virginia stayed patient on offense, coughing it up only seven times against Rutgers.
Rutgers went the first 7 minutes of the second half without a basket, enabling West Virginia to push its lead to 65-32 with 14:32 left after consecutive 3-pointers by backup guard Dalton Pepper.
John Flowers put the exclamation point on the rout with a one-handed rebound dunk over 7-footer Hamady Ndiaye for a 79-45 lead with 3:45 remaining.
West Virginia had used an all-forward starting lineup in the four previous games. But coach Bob Huggins gave Bryant his starting point guard spot back Wednesday after a good week of practice and the sophomore responded with one of his best games. He had only one turnover in 20 minutes after averaging five points and 2.5 turnovers off the bench the past four games.
The Mountaineers' defense was shredded by Purdue's 6-foot-10 JaJuan Johnson but West Virginia didn't have as much trouble with Rutgers, which committed 20 turnovers and was outrebounded 39-28.
Despite the presence of Ndiaye, the nation's shot block leader, West Virginia moved the ball around the perimeter well and that amounted to a ton of open looks from outside.
West Virginia, unveiling black uniforms with gold trim, shot nearly 56 percent (20 of 36) from the field in the first half. Jones' 3-pointer midway through the first half put the Mountaineers ahead 30-13. West Virginia's 47 first-half points were a season high.
The Mountaineers also listened to Huggins' plea to attack the ball better on defense. Mike Rosario, Rutgers' leading scorer, was 4 of 14 and finished with 11 points, seven below his average.
The Associated Press News Service
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