MONTGOMERY - After losing eight seniors from last year's squad and dealing with injuries and other departures, WVU Tech hit a rough patch early in the season, losing 8 of 10 games to drop to 8-9.
But thanks to the efforts of seniors David Rawlinson and Terrale Clark among others, the Golden Bears have answered that stretch by winning 10 of their last 12 games and have improved immensely over that time.
Well, in mid-November, Tech was handed an 86-49 loss at Central State.
On Saturday, against those same Marauders, the Golden Bears turned things around and notched an 89-69 win on senior night at the Neal D. Baisi Center. For those keeping track, that's a 57-point swing.
Rawlinson and Clark were at it early and often, with Clark scoring a co-game-high 18 points. Rawlinson, meanwhile, was more in the giving mood, handing out a whopping 21 assists to go with 12 points, three rebounds, four steals and a pair of blocks.
His 21 helpers matched Tech coach Bob Williams' career-high in his playing days in junior college, and both shared a laugh about that after the game.
"[Williams] challenged me earlier in the season - I'm going to run with this one until the wheels fall off," Rawlinson said with a laugh, referring to his imminent banter with Williams. "I can't wait for this."
"He's going to be happy because he told me he was going to try and get my record," Williams said. "He showed why he should be an All-American. I don't think they realized how good he was in their scouting report because not many teams can go out and pressure him at halfcourt. You can't stay in front of him, he's too good."
Indeed, Rawlinson was way too good on Saturday and the numbers show it. At halftime, Tech had 14 field goals. Rawlinson had one of them and assists on 11 others. In the end he had a hand in 24 of Tech's 32 made shots.
Rawlinson was able to register those assists early in large part to Clark's shot-making ability. The senior forward scored 12 of his points before the break, including nine of Tech's first 14.