Despite last year's troubles, State entered this season as the No. 4 pick in the coaches' poll.
Saturday's victory was State's first game since a 78-59 loss at Davis & Elkins on Dec. 15, a game that Poore likely will not soon forget.
"At D&E, I thought we laid an egg and played uninspired, and I was really unhappy because of the effort,'' he said. "But I really liked the way we played tonight. We played with some passion and some intensity that we didn't really have all the time in the first semester. If we can continue to do that and continue to get better, we'll be a team to be reckoned with at the end of the year.''
It also helped that point guard Jalen Walker and 6-8 forward Raymon Austin played on Saturday. Neither saw much action in the season's first 10 games, but Walker contributed 12 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Austin, who scored only two points in the first half, finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds in just 23 minutes.
The victory leaves State with a 3-3 WVC record.
"We just have to keep getting better every day,'' said Poore. "We're not anywhere near where we can be.''
The Pioneers (7-5, 3-4), who were picked 12th in the preseason poll, were led by D.J. Blanks' 32 points on 10-of-16 shooting and Jamel Morris' 25.