The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

December 12, 2012

Duquesne rallies past WVU, 60-56

PITTSBURGH — This is not headline news anymore, yet it screams to be said over and over.

West Virginia can’t shoot the basketball.

They prove that game after game after game unless something freakish happens, like Kevin Noreen stepping outside and making the 3-point shots the guards can’t make.

This time they proved it against a team that really doesn’t have any business beating them, a Duquesne team that lost much of its talent and ran off its coach, a fellow we all know down West Virginia’s way named Ron Everhart.

Well, even Everhart knowing the Dukes, even teaming that with a Hall of Fame coach in Bob Huggins, doesn’t help if no one can put the ball in the basket, the Mountaineers scoring all of 20 second-half points in blowing a 15-point lead and losing, 60-56, their fourth loss in eight games.

Oh, yes, ahead on Saturday?

Just John Beilein’s undefeated and No. 3 ranked Michigan team.

Now there are any number of ways to look at what transpired here at the Consol Energy Center. You could say that WVU didn’t play defense in the second half, letting the Dukes hit 53.6 percent of their shots ... but that wouldn’t be right.

See, it was hard for them to miss as they were grabbing rebounds — outrebounding WVU, 54-39 — and running down the court on fast break, scoring 18 of their points off breaks.

What would be right though would be to point out that WVU shot 28.1 percent from the field in the second half, 33.3 percent for the game.

They shoot the way the WVU football team plays defense.

Jabarie Hinds has become the poster child for it, going 1 for 7 shooting this time and now having hit 22 of 65 shots for the season, just barely better than 33.3 percent ... which, no matter how you slice it, is unacceptable.

When breaking down the game, Coach Bob Huggins eventually arrived at one point.

“They made their shots. We didn’t,” he said.

It isn’t that they are trying. In fact, they might be trying too hard, but the more they miss, the more the opposition packs people inside around Deniz Kilicli and renders him useless, and there is only one way to fix that and that’s to make some jump shots.

“If not, they are just going to stand in there,” Huggins said.

Kilicli is tiring of it, in part because the way he is being played is making him look bad ... or is it the way he’s playing doing that?

It’s hard to tell, but Huggins did note that “we got a guy playing 33 minutes and he got one defensive rebound ... and he’s the biggest guy on the floor.”

Kilicli was the only one to fit that description.

“The last two games they have put everyone in the paint and they will keep doing it until we make some shots,” he said.

The first half was ugly basketball but WVU did use its defense to shut down the Duquesne shooters and to get some transition baskets, making it look as if it didn’t matter if they were sharp from the outside.

At halftime they led, 36-23, and guards Juwan Staten and Gary Browne each hade 10 ponts, Brown even hitting two of the three 3s WVU would score in the first half.

Then came the second half. Staten scored three points, Browne none. WVU had only one 2, that from Matt Humphrey who saw 14 minutes of playing time and couldn’t quite understand what happened.

“We got complacent,” he theorized. “We were up 13, 15, whatever it was, you don’t lose games like that ... not in college basketball.”

But WVU lost this one.

“We didn’t get back in transition. We didn’t rebound,” Humphrey said. “That’s not how we play. That’s a recipe to lose.”

But that’s just what was being cooked up on the court before 6,244 fans, most of them West Virginia fans who well may have saved the day by coming up early to Christmas shop.

Duquesne simply began hitting shots and you could see their confidence soar. This was a team that went 0-of-8 on 3s in the first half who canned 3 of 11 in the second half, a team that sliced into that 13-point halftime deficit until it was 53-53, then took the lead on a pair of transition layups by Errick Colter.

West Virginia could never get the lead back.

It came down to one final chance, down by 3, four seconds left and Browne at the free throw line.

He missed the first, then intentionally tried to miss the second, as if he had to, the shot being so far off it didn’t hit the rim and went over to Duquesne, which made one final free throw to ice it at 60-57.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads