INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- Coach Bryan Poore's roster has the most first-year players in his 14 seasons at West Virginia State, leaving him with an assortment of headaches and challenges.
Sorting through all those new faces was especially difficult in the season's first 10 games.
"At the end of the first semester,' said Poore, "I was very disappointed, very disappointed.''
On Saturday night, however, a bit of progress showed through. Playing with the kind of effort and efficiency that pleased the coach, the Yellow Jackets took control in the second half and pulled away to defeat Glenville State 105-92 at Institute. A crowd of about 200 attended.
Anton Hutchins, a 6-foot-4 junior guard from Lima, Ohio, is one of the roster's many new faces and, by scoring 33 points against the Pioneers, helped the Jackets (5-6) break out of their early-season doldrums. He hit 11 of 17 from the floor, including 3 of 5 from 3-point distance, and collected 10 rebounds.
Putting a team together takes time, said Hutchins.
"It's all about making progress,'' he said. "When guys come in on a new team, it's all about chemistry and learning to play together. We had a couple of rough games, and our record was 4-6. But I was just thankful we came out here tonight and got the win and played well together.''
State and Poore are coming off an uncharacteristic season in which they finished eighth with a 12-10 West Virginia Conference record. In the five previous seasons, they had never placed lower than third and never lost more than six games in a WVC season.