West Virginia rode the continued strong offensive play of Taz Sherman and the sharpshooting of Sean McNeil to blow past scrappy Bellarmine in the second half of a 74-55 win in Morgantown, W.V., on Tuesday evening.
Fresh off a career-high 28 points against Eastern Kentucky, Sherman paced the Mountaineers (6-1) with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting and led a dominant collective second-half effort against the Knights, as West Virginia's depth and athleticism at both ends of the court wore them down over the final 20 minutes.
McNeil, who originally enrolled at Bellarmine before having a change of heart, added 14 points to help Bob Huggins earn his 906th career victory in the team's third straight win.
Bellarmine (2-6), meanwhile, was coming off a 75-37 win over Division III foe Franklin College on Sunday. Dylan Penn and CJ Fleming entered as the lone Knights averaging in double figures in scoring, but Curt Hopf's inside play also helped keep Bellarmine within seven points after the first 20 minutes.
The Knights, though, were never able to get going from 3-point range (just 2 of 17), and Penn (team-high 16 points) was unable to reach his usual level of play until the game was long decided.
Hopf had 12 points for Bellarmine and Fleming and Juston Betz added 10 apiece.
The game against West Virginia was the latest in a string of tough tilts for Scott Davenport's squad, which has started its second Division I season with stiff competition -- including games against Purdue, Gonzaga and UCLA -- and has only played one home game.
Despite the setback, the Knights showed flashes of being an improved unit against a team from a power league. However, the Mountaineers did a good job of handling a Bellarmine offense that relies on sharp passing and cutting offensively.
The Mountaineers will next host Radford on Saturday, while Bellarmine will host Defiance College on Sunday.
--Field Level Media