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February 17, 2007

WVU gets to 20 wins by beating Seton Hall

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Frank Young scored seven of his 18 points during a key second-half run to help No. 23 West Virginia beat Seton Hall 81-71 Saturday.

West Virginia (20-6, 8-5 Big East) bounced back from an 18-point loss Monday at No. 14 Georgetown to reach 20 wins for the third straight season, the first time that's happened since 1984-87. Before the game, the Mountaineers dedicated a bronze statue to alumnus Jerry West outside their arena.

Seton Hall came from as many as 12 points down to get to 64-62 on Paul Gause's layup with 5:36 left, but the Pirates scored just nine points the rest of the game.

Seton Hall, which has the Big East's worst defense at 72 points per game, scored 40 points in the paint but allowed three big runs in dropping its sixth straight conference road game.

Young made a 3-pointer and a pair of layups following steals during a 13-0 run that gave the Mountaineers their largest lead, 77-62, with 1:45 remaining.

West Virginia has won 13 of 14 home games this season. The Mountaineers forced 15 turnovers and made 12 steals against a team that leads the Big East in steals but managed just seven Saturday.

Darris Nichols added 17 points, and Alex Ruoff and Joe Alexander had 13 apiece for West Virginia. Da'Sean Butler finished with 11.

Eugene Harvey scored 19 points before fouling out for Seton Hall (12-13, 3-9). Brian Laing scored 16, and Gause and Stan Gaines had 12 apiece.

Before the game, a ceremony was held to dedicate the statue to West, the NBA Hall of Famer and Memphis Grizzlies' president of basketball operations who set more than a dozen school records from 1956 to 1960. His son Jonnie is a freshman with the Mountaineers and is being redshirted.

"I have never frankly gotten excited about any personal accolade," West said. "The only thing that was important to me was to win and compete. That's what I've loved in my life. For something like this to happen and particularly in the place that's helped make me the person I am today ... this will always be a part of my life."

For more coverage of West Virginia, visit WVSports.com; for more on Seton Hall, visit PirateCrew.com.

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