MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia University Coach Bob Huggins was seeing the worst of his team Tuesday night. He managed to bring out the best by bringing in five different players.
The Mountaineers coach grew tired of his team's performance in the first half and then gave up on giving players chances at the beginning of the second. When no one showed up to take the inbound pass from Darryl Bryant after Robert Morris scored on the first possession after halftime, Huggins angrily called a timeout. Ahead just 32-31, he substituted the starting five.
"I think he sent a message to the entire team and said, 'If you're not going to play hard all the time, you're not going to play,' " said point guard Joe Mazzulla, who was a part of the group that entered the game. "At that point we had nothing to lose, so we could play relaxed like we normally do. We saw collectively as a team we've got to play much harder and with much more passion and emotion."
Mazzulla and the four others contributed to a 15-4 run over the next 4:41 as the Mountaineers handled the Colonials, 82-49. A fractionally filled Coliseum watched WVU (6-2) extend a December home winning streak and a non-conference home winning streak to 33 games each.
"I get tired of watching guys not play the right way," Huggins said. "I've got great respect for the game and the way it's supposed to be played. The 6,334 that showed up deserve a little better.
"I think that's what it was. Sorry, the 6,443. I hate to short them."
After drawing 12,707 in the season-opener, a combined 13,833 have shown up the past two home games. The Coliseum seats 14,000 and can accommodate several hundred more, but the crowd for Robert Morris was thin to the point people could be counted in some sections.
"I could have," Huggins said. "There was a point in the first half where I thought that might be more appealing."
Deniz Kilicli, whose recent struggles bumped him out of the starting lineup, keyed the run by the second team and finished with 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting. He had scored 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting the previous three games.
"In the second half, I was just mad," Kilicli said. "I was mad and I didn't really care who was saying what. I just went out there and played and did my thing and it worked."
Bryant had 12 points, six assists and three steals and was WVU's best source of offense in the first half with 10 points. John Flowers had the first double-double of his career with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He added two assists and two blocked shots.