CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tim Rusthoven, William & Mary's shaggy-haired, bearded post player, maneuvered around the West Virginia for consecutive point-blank baskets to start Sunday's game at the Charleston Civic Center.
It could've been a harbinger. After all, the Tribe entered play No. 19 in Division I men's college basketball in 2-point shooting percentage. They're so efficient and consistent on offense that Marcus Thornton, the Colonial Athletic Association's leading scorer, came into the game with the NCAA's longest active streak of games scoring in double figures.
After Rusthoven's second basket fell through the net with 18:58 left of the first half, however, the Tribe managed a measly six 2-pointers the rest of the way, and West Virginia cruised to an 82-45 win in its final non-conference game of the regular season.
Thornton finished with just nine points on 3 of 16 shooting. His 42-game streak is over.
"Our coaches were really on us tough this week with how dangerous they can be," WVU point guard Juwan Staten said. "They have a great scorer in Marcus Thornton and those other guys make shots, they do everything they're asked to do and they play their role.
"We had a lot of time to work on things."
The Mountaineers (8-5) had a week-long break after the Dec. 22 home loss to Purdue.
Re-energized from the rest, the WVU defense held William & Mary to 14 of 55 shooting (25.5 percent) and 6 of 25 on 3-pointers (24.0 percent).
West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins heaped praise on junior forward Kevin Noreen, who played the most minutes of any player off the bench and stayed on the floor because of his defensive presence. He scored three points and grabbed six rebounds in a season-high 24 minutes.
"I thought Kevin Noreen kind of turned it around for us," Huggins said after the Mountaineers handed the Tribe its worst loss this season and its worst defeat in the 46-game history of the series. "He came in and did a good job of keeping the ball out of the middle of the floor and out of the high post. That forced them to take some shots they probably didn't want to take and got us out in transition.
"Noreen kept the ball out of where they want to run offense from ... When Kevin got in, I think that really changed the game. That enabled us to get out in transition."