HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (AP) — No. 16 West Virginia found its scoring touch in the second half and beat Northern Kentucky 67-42 on Sunday night.
Juwan Staten and Devin Williams led West Virginia (8-1) with 12 points each, and Chad Jackson led the Norse (3-5) with 12 points.
West Virginia, coming off a disappointing 74-73 loss to LSU on Thursday, was sluggish for the start of the game against Northern Kentucky. The Norse controlled the pace of the game early, shooting the ball three times as often as West Virginia in the game’s first five minutes. But Northern Kentucky couldn’t capitalize.
Northern Kentucky turned the ball over five times in 33 seconds, and the teams combined for nine turnovers in the game’s first eight minutes. Eleven minutes into the game, the score was just 6-6, with the teams shooting a combined 5 of 28 from the field and 1 of 14 from 3-point range.
With 6:51 left in the half, the Mountaineers went on a 7-0 run to go up 16-9, but faded again near the end of the half. They went into the locker room with a narrow 20-17 lead — their worst first-half offensive output of the season.
After halftime, the Mountaineers came out with a quick 9-0 run, capped off by an authoritative dunk by guard Daxter Miles Jr., giving West Virginia a 28-17 lead. The outcome of the game was never again in question as West Virginia extended its lead.
After shooting 30.4 percent from the field before halftime, the Mountaineers recovered to shoot 16-of-36 in the second half. Forward Jonathan Holton scored all 10 of his points after halftime, and Williams scored nine of his 12 points in the second half. Northern Kentucky shot just 26.5 percent from the field for the game.
West Virginia: Before Sunday’s 67-point showing, the Mountaineers had averaged 84 points per game this season. . Sunday’s game was the first regular-season meeting between the two teams, but Northern Kentucky defeated West Virginia 77-74 in an exhibition matchup in 2011.
Northern Kentucky: Northern Kentucky has played three of its eight games against teams in the AP Top 25. The Norse lost to No. 3 Wisconsin 62-31 on Nov. 14 and lost to No. 21 Nebraska 80-61 on Nov. 16.
Northern Kentucky hosts UC Clermont next Sunday.
West Virginia hosts Marshall next Sunday.
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