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Saturday, January 14, 2006

WVU posts 3-point mark in Big East win over Marquette

Last 5 Games
1/11 @Seton Hall W 67-63
1/07 Cincinnati L 70-66
1/03 Connecticut W 94-79
12/28 Lewis W 88-40
12/22 Delaware State W 60-48
1/11 Georgetown W 68-61
1/08 @Villanova W 91-87
1/05 @South Florida W 57-53
12/30 Canisius W 80-68
12/22 @Oklahoma W 92-68
· Complete Schedule: Marquette | West Virginia

Big East Conference Standings
#23 West Virginia4-012-3
#24 Syracuse3-015-2
#11 Pittsburgh2-013-0
#4 Connecticut2-114-1
#3 Villanova2-111-2
#10 Louisville1-113-2
Seton Hall1-29-5
St. John's1-28-6
Notre Dame1-310-5
South Florida0-36-10
· View expanded standings

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Mike Gansey and Kevin Pittsnogle added their names to West Virginia history and the Mountaineers broke their own Big East record.Gansey and Pittsnogle became the first West Virginia players to both score 30 points in a game in 39 years, and the 16th-ranked Mountaineers broke their own conference mark with 20 3-pointers in a 104-85 victory over Marquette on Saturday.The Mountaineers (12-3, 4-0) finally found the fast start they had lacked in previous conference wins, hitting six 3-pointers in their first seven baskets. The performance followed wins over Villanova and Georgetown, games where West Virginia rallied from double-digits deficits."The pace was incredible," West Virginia coach John Beilein said. "Do you turn off the tempo? You just have to let the kids go. They got in that zone."Beilein told his team it couldn't possibly maintain the 12-for-25 3-point shooting pace it had at halftime.He was wrong.West Virginia improved the mark in the second half, finishing 20-of-38 from behind the arc for its best percentage (61.5) of the season."That's a rule we want kids to follow," Beilein said. "If they are feeling it, shoot it."Gansey set career-highs with eight 3-pointers and 33 points. Pittsnogle finished with 30 points. The last time two West Virginia players surpassed 30 points in the same game was Feb. 17, 1967, when Dave Reaser (42) and Carl Head (33) did it against Richmond.West Virginia's 10-game winning streak is its longest since it won 22 straight in 1988-89.The 20 3-pointers broke the mark of 18 West Virginia set last season in an overtime loss to Louisville in the NCAA regional finals."I can't say I've seen many better performances than what we saw from West Virginia," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "We have tremendous respect for the way they play. This is a special college basketball team, very special."It marked the second 100-point game under Beilein and the first in regulation. West Virginia scored 111 against Wake Forest in a triple-overtime game in the NCAA tournament last season.Freshman Dominic James led Marquette with 28 points, while Joe Chapman added 18.Marquette (12-5, 2-2) had held its seven previous opponents below their season scoring average but had no defense for West Virginia. Both teams shot better than 54 percent from the field.James and Gansey dominated play for much of the game. Gansey scored 17 of West Virginia's first 27 points and James had his career-high in points early in the second half."He told me to quit making my shots," Gansey said of James. "I looked at him and said, 'Man, what about you?' He is possibly the best freshman in the league."Crean said the same of Gansey's senior status."Anybody who has the opportunity to take him at the next level would be absolutely ridiculous not to," Crean said. "He makes everyone better. John (Beilein) and the people of Morgantown are probably the presidents of the fan club, but I'm a charter member."Gansey's 3-point effort tied a school record set by Chris Leonard against Marshall in 1992. He made six in the first half, including five in the first 8 minutes as West Virginia, which never trailed, jumped to a 27-15 lead.Marquette kept the score close the rest of the half before Gansey's 3-pointer gave the Mountaineers a 48-43 halftime lead, tying their highest first-half output of the season.Pittsnogle scored nine points during a 17-5 run over a 5-minute stretch as West Virginia extended its lead to 73-56 with 11:39 remaining.Gansey injured his right ankle with 7:32 left in the game. He went to the locker room but did return.West Virginia held Steve Novak, the Big East's leading 3-point shooter, to six points.Marquette lost when scoring at least 85 points for the first time since 2002-03, the same season it went to the Final Four."They live by the 3, die by the 3," James said. "They were hitting the 3 and we definitely got killed by the 3."West Virginia, second in the nation in turnovers, had just five while forcing 21.

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