MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Kevin Jones arrived at the WVU Coliseum Thursday night needing just three offensive rebounds to set West Virginia's career record. No one thought he'd be leaving without it.
Not against an Alcorn State team that won just four times in 27 games last season and then brought in a new coach and more than a dozen new players.
"Can we be honest?" WVU Coach Bob Huggins said. "Who looked at the schedule and didn't think we'd win this one?"
Absent of suspense, the record was on Jones' mind and the senior from Mount Vernon, N.Y., had a speech handy for after he had 10 offensive rebounds and 16 second-chance points in a 97-62 victory.
"I've got to give a lot of the credit to my teammates for missing all those shots," he said.
The 6-foot-8, 260-pound Jones helped himself, though. In the middle of the second half, he approached the basket and tried for a rare dunk, but came up short and hammered the rim. The ball came back to him, though, and he skipped the second shot off the glass and into the basket.
"I was really trying to make it," said Jones, who was battling allegations he tried to add to his stats on a night he ended up one offensive rebound shy of his own single-game school record. "I know you guys don't see me dunk as much as other people, but I was really trying to get that dunk. It would have been a perfect night."
Jones nevertheless finished with a career-high 29 points and a personal-best 13 baskets. He added 13 rebounds for his 13th career double-double. Jones passed Chris Brooks (1988-91 career) for the offensive rebound record with No. 321 with 16:02 left in the first half. Freshman Tommie McCune air balled a 3-point shot, but the miss went right to Jones in fitting fashion.
"A lot of my rebounds have been lucky," Jones said. "Guys fumble the ball and it ends up in my hands or it just comes right to me, but I'm there at the right place at the right time."
Jones, congratulated for the record by the crowd of 6,059 during the game's first timeout, scored 15 points as the Mountaineers (2-1) took a 21-12 lead two days after a 70-60 loss at home to Kent State. Ten of those points were second-chance points.
"I'd be lying if I didn't say it was on the back of my mind," Jones said. "My priority was to make sure the team got off to a good start. I wanted to come out aggressive and I wanted the team to follow me. We got things going after a while."
WVU's lead dipped to 31-23 with 3:13 left in the half, but the Mountaineers outscored Alcorn State (1-1) 13-5 the rest of the half and had its biggest lead going into the locker room. The lead never went below 18 points the rest of the way and was in the 30s for most of the second half, when WVU shot 55.9 percent (19-for-39)
Truck Bryant rebounded from a shaky game Tuesday to score 18 points and play 27 minutes with four assists and no turnovers. He scored all but two points after halftime. Bryant had six turnovers and missed 9 of his 13 shots against Kent State.