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WVU routs ODU to reach Cancun title game

The SportsXchange

Old Dominion couldn't stop the shooting clinic West Virginia put on Tuesday in the Cancun Challenge.

The Monarchs could only marvel at it.

"They've got a bunch of guys that can really stretch your defense," Monarchs coach Jeff Jones said after the Mountaineers ripped through Old Dominion 78-60 to advance to the Riviera Division championship game at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. "And with the way (point guard Juwan) Staten can penetrate in there, they've really got a lot of good stuff going on."

The Mountaineers, who came in averaging 88.3 points on 50.6 percent shooting, connected at a 56 percent clip against the Monarchs to cruise to their fourth straight victory. West Virginia (5-1) will play Wisconsin in the Riviera Division final Wednesday night.

Guard Eron Harris, the Big 12 scoring leader, led a balanced West Virginia attack with 19 points and connected on three of the Mountaineers' eight 3-pointers.

Staten added 13 points, nine assists and just one turnover. It marked the 12th time in his past 13 games Staten committed no more than a single turnover. For the season, he has 47 assists against just five turnovers.

Guard Terry Henderson added 14 points and forward Devin Williams contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds for West Virginia, which expanded a 12-point halftime lead to 20 with 14:06 remaining and coasted home.

Guard Aaron Bacote scored 20 points and guard Dimitri Batten added 16 for the Monarchs (4-2), who were playing their first game away from home. The loss snapped Old Dominion's four-game winning streak.

The Monarchs shot 39 percent from the field, made just nine of 22 free throws and committed 15 turnovers. Old Dominion came in averaging 10 turnovers per contest.

"We had some struggles offensively," Jones said, "but the biggest problem was we could never get a handle on the game defensively. West Virginia played really well."

The Monarchs' best threat came late in the first half, when they cut a 13-point deficit to three. However, Henderson and Staten came through with 3-pointers as the Mountaineers closed the first half on a 10-1 run to take a 36-24 lead into halftime.

Old Dominion will play in the tournament's third-place game Wednesday against Saint Louis.

NOTES: West Virginia made its first appearance in a regular-season game outside the United States or Puerto Rico in program history. ... The Cancun Challenge uses an eight-team, four-game format, with each team playing two games stateside before heading to Mexico. The Monarchs and Mountaineers both beat Presbyterian and Georgia Southern last week in the U.S. portion. ... Bowling Green will face Oral Roberts for the Mayan Division championship on Wednesday.

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