PITTSBURGH -- It wasn't about the long distance Gonzaga traveled to reach its NCAA Tournament opener Thursday in West Virginia's backyard.
It was more about the long distance the Zags' shots traveled early in the game. And that was just for starters.
Gonzaga's early 3-point marksmanship set the tone, but that and much more sent the Mountaineers packing quickly for a 2011-12 season-ending trip home down I-79.
In the final game for seniors Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant and the school's last game as a Big East Conference member, WVU was routed 77-54 in an East Region second-round game at Consol Energy Center.
Seventh-seeded Gonzaga (26-6), which has won 11 of its last 14 games, moved on to face region second seed and No. 7 Ohio State (28-7) here Saturday.
West Virginia (19-14) finished with the most losses for a Bob Huggins-coached team since his first Cincinnati club, in 1990-91, went 20-14.
"This is the worst defensive team I've ever had in 30 years," Huggins said after his team was riddled at both ends of the floor. "We don't get the help, we don't get the loose balls. We don't do the things we've done for years and years and years.
"They shoot 56 percent, that's never happened. You've been around. That's never, ever happened. No matter how well somebody played, it never happened.
"A lot of it is because we're so inept offensively. They get breakouts. We throw the ball around, throw the ball to them. That adds to it."
It was the second-worst loss in Huggins' 47 NCAA Tournament games as coach, trailing only a 92-68 Cincinnati defeat to Illinois in the 2004 second round.
It was WVU's biggest NCAA thumping since a 102-77 second-round debacle against Maryland in 1984 at Birmingham, Ala.
Gonzaga freshman guard Kevin Pangos nearly matched his per-game scoring average with a 13-point half. He didn't score after halftime, but by the finish four Bulldogs were double-figure scorers.
Guard Gary Browne led WVU scoring with 15 off-the-bench points.
Huggins gave freshman forward Aaron Brown his first career start - "looking for somebody to make a shot," the WVU coach said. Brown was 1-of-14 in 14 minutes.
Guard Truck Bryant, who also finished his WVU career on a sour note, had an 0-of-5 first half and finished 2-of-10 and with nine points.
"Yeah, there was always a feeling of frustration throughout the whole game," said WVU senior Kevin Jones, the Big East scoring and rebounding season leader whose career ended with a 13-point, four-rebound night. "It was definitely desperation during the second half. We were down by so many points.
"We weren't playing defense. They came out tougher, more aggressive, more energized than we were. You see the result of it. They were the better team."