MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Casey Mitchell had 13 points and 14 rebounds to lead No. 21 West Virginia to a 56-46 win over South Florida on Sunday.
John Flowers and Kevin Jones added 13 points apiece for West Virginia (13-5, 4-2 Big East). The Mountaineers bounced back from a 75-71 loss to Marshall on Wednesday after entering the Top 25 for the first time this season.
Augustus Gilchrist had his third straight double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds for South Florida (7-14, 1-7). The Bulls lost for the 11th time in 13 games and remain winless in nine road games.
Despite a solid defensive effort, West Virginia's 56 points were well below its season average of 75 and eight fewer than its previous low for the season, a 64-61 win at Duquesne on Dec. 12.
Flowers followed Mitchell's missed 3-point try with a basket to cap a 9-0 run and West Virginia extended an 11-point halftime lead to 40-24 with 15:32 left.
South Florida eventually mounted one last comeback attempt. Jawanza Poland's 3-pointer with 1:44 left brought the Bulls within 47-41, but they got no closer.
For the second straight game, Jones missed much of the first half with foul trouble, but his absence wasn't missed like it was against Marshall.
In that game, West Virginia managed just 21 first-half points. On Sunday, West Virginia turned the tables on South Florida.
The Mountaineers got strong offensive rebounding to score several early baskets. Gilchrist kept South Florida close, but the Bulls went more than 10 minutes without a field goal and West Virginia took over.
Flowers' score with 2 minutes left in the half capped an 11-0 run and put the Mountaineers ahead 27-14. Mitchell had 10 points in the half.
West Virginia led 27-16 at halftime. It marked the fewest points allowed by West Virginia in the first half this season and the fewest scored by South Florida.
West Virginia will play three of its next four games on the road, starting Wednesday at No. 19 Louisville.