MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Kevin Jones scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to post his 12th double-double of the season as West Virginia routed Rutgers in an 84-60 Big East victory Saturday.
“K.J. (Jones) is, I think, in my opinion to this point the best player in the conference,” said Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins.
Darryl “Truck” Bryant added 18 points, Deniz Kilicli 14 and Jabarie Hines 11 as West Virginia (13-5, 4-2 Big East) led wire-to-wire en route to defeating the Scarlet Knights for the ninth straight time.
The Mountaineers had dominated Rutgers by 21 points just 10 days ago.
Rutgers was coming off back-to-back victories over Connecticut at home and Pittsburgh on the road.
“My teammates found me and I just told them that if they get a steal or a rebound to look up the floor because I’m going to be running regardless,” Jones said. “You just have to keep doing that and keep faith your teammates are going to find you.”
Bryant has scored in double figures in every game except Monday’s loss at Connecticut.
The Mountaineers connected on 46.6 percent of their field goals (27 of 58) as their pressure defense forced 19 turnovers from the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers (10-8, 2-3), which trailed 14-4 by the 15:27 mark and 48-22 at halftime, shot just 39.7 percent (23 of 58) from the floor.
Myles Mack led the Scarlet Knights with 15 points and Dane Miller had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
“We just wanted to take them out of their offense,” Jones said. “The more they passed the ball the better their offense is, just like any other team.”
Rutgers’ leading scorer Eli Carter, who was averaging about 14 points per game, was held to six points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field.
After scoring 11 straight points to take its 14-4 lead, West Virginia expanded its margin to 28-12 on a layup by Gary Browne.
Browne started with the ball at the top of the key, tried to force a layup in the paint, but picked up the loose ball and drove again for a score.
West Virginia, which shot 46.5 percent from the field coming into the game, was good on 56.7 percent of its shots in the first half (17 of 30). Fourteen of the Mountaineers’ points came off 11 turnovers by Rutgers
“You just got to let the game come to you,” Jones said. “I didn’t force anything and other people were scoring, so I really didn’t have to do as much.”
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)