West Virginia 77, Morgan State 50
How West Virgina Won: It was textbook stuff once the Mountaineers shook their nonchalance: 20 assists on 24 field goals, a 49-38 advantage on the boards, a 80 percent day from the free-throw line (25 of 31), just 29.5 percent shooting from the field by Morgan State. No surprises.
Turning Point: Hey, at least it wasn't the opening tip! Bears went up, 10-0, before Mountaineers awoke. Kevin Jones, a sophomore forward from Mount Vernon, got it going by scoring nine straight WVU points to as a 14-5 deficit closed to 17-14. Joe Mazzulla's three-point play off the fastbreak accounted for only lead change as Mountaineers went up 22-21 with 5:42 left in first half.
Player of the Game: Ballot split between Jones and fellow sophomore Devin Ebanks. Jones had a game-high 17 points, went 8 of 10 from the floor and grabbed eight boards. Ebanks had 16 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and shut down Reggie Holmes, the leading scorer in Morgan State history.
Stat of the Game: West Virginia missed 11 of its first 12 shots, then made 13 of its next 20.
He Said It: "K.J. really helped us out in the first half. He was just hitting shot after shot. That's the way it is with our team. Somebody different just steps up every night. -- Wellington Smith on teammate Kevin Jones.
He Said It II: "If you coach long enough you know that you start out on a run and often times the other team is going to make a run. If you can extend that like Ohio did against Goergetown, they created a cushion. But if you can't create that cushion you are going to have a problem because they're going to make a run. It's just a matter of time." -- Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman on the precarious nature of his team's 10-0 lead.
In the House: I kept looking, but no Barack Obama.
Next Up: West Virginia gets Missouri on Sunday, time TBA by CBS. Why do they call these the NCAAs anyway when it's really the CBS??
-- Bob DiCesare