MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Casey Mitchell scored 18 points and Truck Bryant added 17 to lead West Virginia to an 86-63 exhibition game victory over Walsh Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum.
WVU coach Bob Huggins chose to play the exhibition at this time of the season because he didn't want his team to have 11 days off before opening conference play against St. John's next Wednesday night in Morgantown.
After falling behind big early, Walsh came back and made a game of it, actually cutting the Mountaineers' lead to single digits with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Photo courtesy of West Virginia University
West Virginia’s Casey Mitchell drives to basket over a Walsh defender Wednesday night. The Mountaineers won, 86-63 in an exhibition game.
"We kind of got back to not running offense again," said Huggins.
John Flowers contributed 14 points and blocked two shots. Nine different players scored for West Virginia and 12 different players saw action. Guard Joe Mazzulla and center Danny Jennings have minor ailments and were held out for precautionary measures.
Jeremy Shardo and Eric Schiele scored 20 points each for Walsh.
Huggins said his players will return to Morgantown on Christmas night to begin preparing for a difficult stretch of Big East games that includes three straight on the road in a span of a week following the St. John's game.
West Virginia (8-2) will travel to Marquette to face the Golden Eagles on New Year's Day then has a three day turnaround to face DePaul in Chicago before wrapping up its road trip with a game at Georgetown in D.C. on Jan. 8.
St. John's boosted its record to 7-3 following last night's 85-69 win over Northwestern. Former UCLA coach and ESPN college basketball analyst Steve Lavin is now coaching the Red Storm.
"We'll cut up this film and try and fix what ails us before we get ready for the Johnnies," said Huggins.
Huggins expects his team to face changing defenses from St. John's next week.
"We're going to have to get ready for a lot of things," he said.