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Young big in second half as West Virginia wins No. 20

Feb 18, 2007 - 4:50 AM MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- The veteran presence of Frank Young got West Virginia No. 20.

Young scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half as the No. 22 Mountaineers topped Big East Conference foe Seton Hall, 81-71.

Darris Nichols added 17 points and Joe Alexander scored 11 of his 13 in the first half for the Mountaineers (20-6, 8-5), who recorded their third straight 20-win season.

"It's great for us to get to this point where we've got eight wins in the Big East and 20 wins overall," West Virginia coach John Beilein said. "We still have a long way to go and every single win will certainly help us continue to play in March."

West Virginia led by three at the half and extended the edge to 59-48 before Seton Hall rallied. The Pirates cut their deficit to 62-60 on a three-point play by Stan Gaines before Young hit a jumper with 6:08 remaining then knocked down a 3-pointer with 4:25 left for a 69-62 lead.

"I love the way we came out in the second half. We got that separation and they did get it back down to (two), but we made some big shots and got away from them," Beilein said.

"The difference in the game was when it could have gone either way, they know how to win," Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "We aren't there yet. We have to get over the hump. But we did play them to the wall and I'm happy about that."

Young shot 8-of-15, knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and added five rebounds and four assists. The senior scored 17 points in the first meeting between the teams, an 81-70 West Virginia triumph on February 3.

"I didn't have a great feeling coming into this one," Beilein said. "I just felt it's tough to beat them a second time and if we didn't shoot the ball well they were going to create points with their defense."

Nichols shot 5-of-9 and added five assists and Alex Ruoff added 13 points, six assists and three steals for West Virginia, which shot 57 percent (31-of-54) from the field.

Eugene Harvey scored 19 points and Brian Laing added 16 and 10 rebounds for the Pirates, who have dropped seven straight conference contests and four straight overall.

Harvey hit consecutive three-point plays early in the second half to keep Seton Hall within striking distance, then combined with Laing for seven points as the Pirates closed a 59-48 deficit to 62-60 with 6:14 left.

Seton Hall shot 65 percent (22-of-34) on 2-pointers but made just 3-of-20 from the arc. It held a 33-28 edge on the boards but committed 15 turnovers to 10 by West Virginia.

Alexander shot 5-of-9 in the first half and West Virginia connected on 56 percent (15-of-27) to forge a 36-33 lead. The Mountaineers shot just 1-of-6 from the line in the opening 20 minutes and finished 10-of-20.

    --- --- -----
    SETON HALL 33 38 71
    WEST VIRGINIA (22) 36 45 81 FINAL

    Feb 17 6:00 PM


    Feb 17 4:50 PM