MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Following a career-high 29 points in a 16-point comeback against Missouri on Sunday, Jevon Carter was in for another special night.

Carter scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds and became West Virginia’s all-time steals leader in a the 19th-ranked Mountaineers’ 102-69 victory over NJIT on Thursday night.

“Jevon is fun to watch,” West Virginia forward Teddy Allen said. “Even as his teammate, seeing him practice every day, he works at it, man. To see him be successful and reach his goals is cool.”

Carter had five steals against NJIT, making him WVU’s all-time leader with 255, passing Greg Jones’ record set in 1983.

“It doesn’t mean much now,” Carter said. “I’m sure it will mean a lot once I’m done but right now I’m just focused on game to game and moving on to the next one.”

West Virginia (7-1) started the game sluggish, allowing NJIT to lead throughout the first 10 minutes of the game.

“We can’t give up 34 points in the paint to those people,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said. ” We just can’t turn people loose the way we turned people loose today. I don’t mean they’re not good. They’re going to win their league I think. We just can’t turn people loose in the middle who can finish at the rim or pass it to the wings who are open outside.”

The Mountaineers then outscored NJIT (4-3) 31-14 to close out the first half and opened the second half with a 15-2 scoring run to cruise to victory.

Allen added a career-high 16 points for the Mountaineers while Lamont West scored 13 points, James Bolden added 12 and Wesley Harris had 11.

Anthony Tarke led the Highlanders with 13 points and Diandre Wilson added 12.

“Any time that you play a Bob Huggins-coached team, it’s going to be a well-coached dog fight out there and I just wanted my guys to keep their composure as much as they could,” NJIT coach Brian Kennedy said.

BIG PICTURE

With the loss to West Virginia, the Highlanders have lost all three of their road games (the others being Wagner and then-No. 22 Seton Hall). This could prove to be a bigger issue for NJIT in conference play with trips to the states of Georgia and Tennessee along with multiple trips to Florida.

In three of their four home games against low-major teams, the Mountaineers have started off sluggish offensively. This could seriously plague West Virginia with upcoming games against No. 18 Virginia and archrival Pitt.

ALL-AMERICAN KID

Kennedy had nothing but nice thigs to say about WVU’s leading man Carter.

“What a great player,” Kennedy said. “All-American kid. He stepped up really big for them and made some shots. (I) used him as an example to my team out there. We came out for our shootaround and he was on the court dripping wet (with sweat), and they had their shootaround after us.”

COZY COLISEUM CONFINES

With Thursday’s win the Mountaineers extend their home non-conference winning streak to 20 games. The last time West Virginia lost a non-conference game at the Coliseum was on Dec. 4, 2014, to LSU 74-73.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With the win over NJIT and no additional games before the new AP Top 25 comes out on Monday, the Mountaineers are unlikely to rise very far despite losses by No. 16 Baylor and No. 17 Louisville.

UP NEXT

NJIT hosts UMass Lowell on Sunday.

West Virginia will host No. 18 Virginia in Morgantown for the first time since 1985 on Tuesday.


More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25