MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Joe Alexander scored 21 points and three other West Virginia players reached double figures as the Mountaineers routed Providence 80-53 on Saturday night.
Alexander fought through early foul trouble to pace the Mountaineers (19-8, 8-6 Big East) through stretches of even play until they delivered the knockout punch with a 9-0 run midway through the second half. That push was sparked by 3-pointers from Da'Sean Butler and John Flowers before Alexander hit a jumper off the glass.It was part of a run that saw West Virginia scored 23 of 27 points to extend its lead to 67-42 with six minutes remaining, sending Providence (13-14, 4-11) to its fifth straight loss and ninth in the last 10 games.Alex Ruoff added 14 points and Butler scored 13 for West Virginia. Wellington Smith came off the bench to score 10.Jeff Xavier led Providence with 15 points and Brian McKenzie scored 10.Providence was held to a season low for points and committed a season-high 21 turnovers.Providence led 16-15 with eight minutes left until halftime before Butler hit a 3-pointer and a driving layup as part of a 10-0 run that gave the Mountaineers a 25-16 lead. WVU led 33-27 at halftime.Providence guard Dwain Williams missed his second straight game after injuring his ankle against Louisville.West Virginia beat Providence for the seventh time in their last eight meetings.