"As soon as I saw that first shot go in, I knew I wanted to keep shooting," Adrian said. "I kept getting the shots I wanted and they kept going in."
Adrian finished second in scoring on the day to Terry Henderson.
"When [Adrian] came in, he was kind of quiet," Juwan Staten said. "We knew he could play, but he was kind of quiet. Now he's rebounding, hitting the offensive glass and diving for the ball. He's maturing."
And bleeding. In the loss to Purdue, Adrian was smacked in the nose. Against William & Mary, he broke it — and was called for the foul.
"I'm proud of him," Staten said. "It shows how tough he is."
"I've learned I've got to work hard all the time," Adrian said. "When I have a bad game it's when I get lazy. Coach has been on me to get in the gym and work harder. I have. It works."
Now Adrian and his teammates have their work cut out for them. At 8-5, with no quality victories on its resume, WVU will have to win more than they lose in Big 12 action.
"We didn't step up when we needed to," Adrian said. "We needed to win at least two or three of the games we lost. Hopefully we can make that up in conference play."
That certainly won't be easy. But WVU — and Adrian — took a small step forward on Sunday.
"We came out of the Purdue game with a bad taste in our mouths," Adrian said. "We wanted to show something. I think we did that. We showed how good we can play defensively ... We just need to keep doing that."
The Tribe, using a Princeton style-offense, shot but 25.5 percent from the floor. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers were consistently hitting inside (they had 15 fast break points) and outside (eight 3-point conversions).
For Adrian, it was a good day to be at the Civic Center. It was a good day to start to erase that performance against South Charleston.
"It helps," Adrian said with a smile. "It doesn't really make up for that loss because I can't go back. But it does help."
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.