MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Even if it was just one night at the end of a season that has not gone according to script, things went as planned for West Virginia Tuesday.
On Senior Night before 10,255 at the Coliseum, Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant combined for 50 points in their final regular-season home game and the Mountaineers had their second-highest point total of the season in a 92-75 victory over DePaul.
WVU never trailed, led 11-0 and controlled the final 23 minutes in a win that pushed its record to 18-12 overall and 8-9 in the Big East. With one regular-season game remaining, the Mountaineers could still finish below .500 in conference play. No Big East team has been below .500 and made the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team in 18 years.
"Everything turned out the way I expected it to," Jones said. "It went the same way I envisioned (Monday) night. I hardly could sleep."
Bryant scored 28 points on 7-for-13 shooting and Jones added 22 points and 16 rebounds for his 19th double-double. The only two times the team's seniors combined for more points in a game were overtime games against Kansas State and Providence.
WVU won both of those and Tuesday walked off the floor victorious for just the third time in 10 games.
"It feels good to win," Bryant said. "I'm not even going to talk about Senior Night. It just feels good to win."
The Blue Demons (11-18, 2-15) were just what the Mountaineers needed. Set to finish in last place in the Big East for the fourth straight season, DePaul has the league's worst field-goal percentage defense, scoring defense and rebounding margin.
WVU shot 31-for-61 and the 50.8 percent was the highest in 11 games. The 92 points was more than any other game except the 97-62 home win against Alcorn State Nov. 17. The Mountaineers outrebounded DePaul 47-27, their second-best rebounding total and rebounding margin all season and, again, behind just the Alcorn State game.
DePaul played into WVU's strengths, which have been covered up by the opposition's plans. Teams don't spread out against the Mountaineers and instead pack the middle, which congests the area where WVU likes to rebound and dares the Mountaineers to make shots to win games.
DePaul presses and WVU was only rarely troubled on the way to its best offensive game in quite some time. The Mountaineers had just 11 turnovers and led by as many as 25 points. They tried only 11 3-point shots and had a season-high 46 points in the paint.
"When you press like that you spread the floor and when you open the floor you score more points," Coach Bob Huggins said. "That's the nature of our game. The more compacted things are, the less you score."