PISCATAWAY, N.J. (KDKA/AP) The West Virginia Mountaineers relied on their defense and rebounding to beat Rutgers 65-54 on Sunday.
John Flowers led the Mountaineers with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Kevin Jones added 12 points and 11 rebounds and West Virginia (18-10, 9-7 Big East) held Rutgers to one basket in the final 5:32.
West Virginia dominated inside, outrebounding the Scarlet Knights 46-31 and outscoring them 18-6 on second-chance points.
The Mountaineers led 25-22 at the end of the first half, then went on an 11-0 run in the second half.
However, Rutgers (13-15, 4-12 Big East) didn’t go away quietly. Late in the second half, the Scarlet Knights went on a 10-3 run to pull within one at 53-52 with 2:50 left. That would be the closest Rutgers would get.
West Virginia closed out the game with a 12-2 run that featured four free throws by Darryl Bryant, capping his 15-point game. Joe Mazzulla started the spurt with two free throws and Flowers followed with a big jumper. Mazzulla had three points in the late run and Flowers had four.
Dane Miller added 11 for the Scarlet Knights in their final home game.
The Mountaineers, who are tied for eighth place in the conference, face a tough road with No. 14 Connecticut and No. 16 Louisville being their last two opponents.
The win keeps West Virginia in contention for a first-round bye in the Big East tournament. The top four teams in the league get a double bye and seeds No. 5-8 get first-round byes.