No. 12 West Virginia gets Huggins his 800th win
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Bob Huggins joined some elite company.
No. 12 West Virginia used a 37-4 first half run to cruise to a 112-67 victory over UMKC, Huggins' his 800th career win.
Huggins is the 10th head coach to reach 800 wins and only the third to achieve that milestone at his alma mater, the others being Jim Boeheim at Syracuse and Adolph Rupp at Kentucky.
''Those are big names,'' Huggins said. ''Those are guys that I said when I first got to go to the Final Four, I'd sit in the lobby all day and all night and just watch them. I'd watch how they interacted with people and just sat there thinking that one day I want to be like that. One day, I want to be one of them.''
Huggins is the second college basketball coach to achieve the 800-win milestone this week as former Villanova coach Rollie Massimino did it this week as Keiser defeated Trinity Baptist 77-47 on Wednesday.
Boeheim along with former WVU player and Golden State Warriors executive board member Jerry West, Kentucky head coach John Calipari, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and countless former Cincinnati and WVU players were among those to send their congratulations in a postgame ceremony.
''It was kind of neat seeing all of those former players and all the people who were more a part of it (800 wins) than I am because I didn't score a goal in any of the 800,'' Huggins said.
Huggins was presented with a jersey with the number 800 printed on it by West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons following the game.
''Thank you Shane, but I don't think I could've fit into this even when I played,'' Huggins said.
Among Huggins' 800 wins are two Final Four appearances (1992 with Cincinnati and 2010 with West Virginia), four Elite Eight appearances, seven Sweet 16 appearances and 10 conference championships.
''Eight-hundred wins. How do you pick one?'' Huggins answered when asked for his favorite win. ''I can't do it. I like beating Cal (John Calipari) but that's way more than one.''
Nathan Adrian led seven players in double figures for the Mountaineers (9-1) with 13 points. Daxter Miles Jr. and Esa Ahmad had 12 points each. Elijah Macon led West Virginia with seven rebounds and Jevon Carter had six assists.
''He has a lot of pride in this state and a lot of pride for the game of basketball so you really can't hide that,'' Adrian said when asked of Huggins' emotions after the game.
The win was the highest scoring output for the Mountaineers this season.
LaVell Boyd led the Kangaroos (7-6) with 14 points.
The 45-point defeat is the worst for UMKC this season beating their 43-point defeat at Kansas earlier this month.
UMKC has one major trip left on its schedule as they hit the road to take on Mississippi State on Dec. 29, which is sandwiched between a couple of home games. The Kangaroos start WAC play at home against New Mexico State on Jan. 5.
West Virginia has looked impressive in just about all facets of the game since their upset of then-No. 6 Virginia on Dec. 3. The Mountaineers have a couple more games in the stat-padding portion of their schedule before starting Big 12 play at Oklahoma State on Dec. 30.
The Mountaineers scored 38 points off 27 UMKC turnovers. West Virginia forces an average of 26.1 turnovers per game.
This is the second time the Kangaroos have played in a milestone game this season. Their loss to Kansas, 105-62, on Dec. 6 was Jayhawks coach Bill Self's 600th career win.
PLAYING ONE `ROO SHORT
UMKC dismissed senior guard and second-leading scorer Martez Harrison earlier in the week. Harrison had been suspended since late November due to an investigation by the school's Title IX office. He averaged 16.5 points per game during the first six games of the season.
UMKC hosts UT Martin on Tuesday night.
West Virginia hosts Radford on Tuesday night.
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