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No. 16 West Virginia downs Northern Kentucky

Dec 8, 2014 - 3:09 AM Highland Heights, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Juwan Staten finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists as No. 16 West Virginia overcame a slow start to defeat Northern Kentucky, 67-42, on Sunday.

Devin Williams also finished with 12 points and Jonathan Holton supplied 10 points, five rebounds and three blocks for the Mountaineers (8-1), who bounced back from a 74-73 loss to LSU on Thursday.

Chad Jackson paced the Norse (3-5) with 12 points and nine rebounds, but turned the ball over six times and Jordan Jackson scored 10 off the bench in the loss.

Neither team was able to locate the basket early on as it was just an 8-8 game with 8:31 to play in the first half. After Jared Bryant's free throw, West Virginia finally started to pull away with eight straight points. Daxter Miles Jr. hit a 3-pointer and then closed the spurt with a layup for a 16-9 lead with 5:35 to play.

The Norse, however, cut the deficit to three points heading into the break as a pair of Chad Jackson foul shots around Anthony Monaco's trey made it a 20-17 game.

The Mountaineers shot 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) from the floor over the first 20 minutes, while the Norse were 6-for-25 (24 percent).

"We couldn't make a shot," West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said. "The ball didn't go in and it got ugly."

Holton's tip-in was the first of nine straight West Virginia points to start the second half and Staten's free throw made it a 29-17 game with over three minutes into the stanza.

Jordan Jackson's layup with 12:25 to play represented Northern Kentucky's second basket of the second half as the Norse trailed 33-21.

Jevon Carter's shot from beyond gave the Mountaineers a healthy 46-27 lead with 8:09 to play and West Virginia led by as much as 26 down the stretch.

Game Notes

It was the first regular-season meeting between the programs, although North Kentucky came away with a 77-74 exhibition win on Nov. 4, 2011 ... The Mountaineers shot 23-of-59 from the floor (39 percent), while the Norse went 13-for-49 (26.5 percent) ... West Virginia improved to 75-23 in non-conference games under Huggins.