His tactics haven't changed for tonight's meeting, which is expected to come in front of a raucous crowd on the first day of classes for the spring semester.
"We have to be smart about it," Downey said. "We'll pick and choose our spots when we attack and when we don't."
Charleston is led by Terrell Lipkins, who gives Downey the scoring threat he hasn't had at point guard his first two seasons. Lipkins averages 17.6 points, 5.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds.
There are four more double-figure scorers for UC, which is fifth in the league in points per game (84.8). Senior guard Evan Faulkner averages 11.5, Aleksander Kesic 11.3, Xavier Humphrey 10.6 and Robbie Dreher 10.
"We all have to put in a good 40 minutes as a team," said Humphrey, a senior who transferred from Marshall University before his junior season. "The State win was big for us, for us to win as a team and gel together as a unit."
He and Downey said the team won't have a problem putting the win over State behind them.
"We have a little saying, 'Don't get bored with success.' We won, yea, that's good, but we move to tomorrow."
This is the first of two regular-season meetings between the teams for the first time with Downey at UC, which visits West Liberty on Feb. 11.
The teams played in the WVC Tournament championship last season and made it to the Division II Atlantic Region. The Hilltoppers were region champions, and Charleston lost in the first round to Wheeling Jesuit.
The potential remains that the teams could play each other four times, but Downey doesn't want to wait for his first win against the Hilltoppers.
"When we have numbers, we want to go score on them, because that's when you do score on them," Downey said. "They give up easy baskets. That's why I don't play that way because it would drive me nuts. They're unbelievable at it."
In West Liberty's eight WVC games, the Hilltoppers have seven runs of 10 points or more.
"We can't hurt ourselves, we can't have careless mistakes," Downey said. "We have to defend them. They're going to make their 3s, we have to rebound their misses and we can't give up easy baskets. That's a lot of different things. You can't hurt yourself."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.