West Virginia whips VMI, off to best start since 2009-10 season
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Freshman reserve Jevon Carter scored 28 points, and No. 21 West Virginia forced a school-record 36 turnovers in a 103-72 victory over VMI on Wednesday night.
West Virginia (6-0) is off to its best start since going 11-0 in 2009-10 when it reached the Final Four.
It marked the highest-scoring game for the Mountaineers since a 110-44 win over Maryland Eastern Shore in 2007.
Carter had 20 first-half points as West Virginia led 53-35 at halftime and extended its lead throughout the second half.
Juwan Staten added 17 points for the Mountaineers. Jonathan Holton scored 13, and Daxter Miles Jr. and Tarik Phillip had 12 apiece.
QJ Peterson had 13 points for the Keydets (2-3). He also had 11 turnovers.
The Mountaineers broke the mark of 34 turnovers forced against Adelphi in 1979. West Virginia also tied a school record with 26 steals set on two other occasions.
Five players had at least three steals apiece. Staten received a standing ovation after diving over the scorer’s table to save a loose ball, flicking it back to Carter who then drove for a basket early in the game.
VMI entered the game making 47 percent of its field goals but its offense couldn’t find a rhythm.
The Keydets stayed close with 3-pointers until West Virginia took over with a 14-3 run midway through the first half. Carter finished the run with three unanswered baskets to put the Mountaineers ahead 40-27 with 3:53 remaining until halftime, then he made two 3-pointers and a fast-break layup to close the half.
Carter started the second half with baskets off consecutive steals, and his final basket five minutes into the second put the Mountaineers ahead 72-48.
Carter made 12 of 14 field goals, many of them on fast-break opportunities. His previous scoring high was 15 points against Boston College on Nov. 21, and he entered the game making just 32 percent of his field goals.