The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

December 6, 2013

Dreadful shooting costs WVU in 70-61 loss to Missouri

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University couldn’t get out of Columbia, Mo., fast enough Thursday night, but the predicted snow/ice/cold storm had far less to do with it than the storm the Missouri Tigers brewed up for them.

The unbeaten Missouri team, tall, long-armed and athletic, would have been difficult to beat if WVU had played its best game of the season, but it had no trouble with the Mountaineers playing their worst.

Don’t be fooled by the 80-71 final score.

That’s a mirage, a product of WVU heart in playing to the end, which while highly commendable does not make up for dreadful shooting, especially from 3-point range.

The Mountaineers were not intimidated by the crowd, for the combination of the weather and the fact that seemingly half the state had left to watch the Tigers play Auburn in Saturday’s SEC championship football game held it down to 7,292.

In coach Bob Huggins’ mind, this game was not lost out on the court.

“We had a horrible practice yesterday — not bad, horrible,” he said after the game. “We weren’t as prepared as we needed to be.”

It was so bad that Huggins had to spend so much time on things he actually had to leave a lot undone.

“We didn’t get to the last 45 minutes of practice,” he said. “We have a lot of young guys. It’s going to take a long time to understand … and we don’t have a whole lot of time.”

The start was so bad that WVU found itself down 65-40 at its lowest point.

That’s 25 points that they would cut to nine.

If you want to point fingers, you start with Eron Harris, who has been the offensive catalyst for this team.

To give you an idea of how bad it was for him, his basket started the comeback from 65-40 down but it was just his second basket of the game.

Harris would finish with just eight points, held to six shots taken, partially by the Missouri defense and also by Huggins, who sat him for 21 of the 40 minutes, perhaps hoping to deliver a message that will carry over into Tuesday’s even tougher home game against No. 15 Gonzaga.

With Harris not scoring, no one was able to pick up the slack.

Juwan Staten led WVU with 16 points, but it wasn’t a good game for him. Even though he did hit his third 3 of the year, he was 5-of-13 shooting and matched his five assists with five turnovers after having turned the ball over nine times in the season’s first eight games.

If you had to pick a WVU player of the game, it would be Gary Browne, who came off the bench to hit 5 of 10 shots to finish with 14 points, matching the 14 Terry Henderson scored.

The trouble was at halftime West Virginia had 22 points and was only ahead 22-21 … that is, ahead of Mizzou’s Jordan Clarkson and Earnest Ross combined.

Clarkson, who dominated the game, finished with 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

It was awful right from the start.

From the moment WVU messed up the very first possession of the game, causing Huggins to send Remi Dibo to the scorer’s table to go in as a replacement, it was obvious this would not be the same as playing Loyola of Maryland.

That was the game, it will recalled, when WVU grabbed of 62 rebounds.

Against Missouri the Mountaineers had 32.

And shooting?

WVU started 0-7 and 1-11 from the field.

The fact is they 26-of-54 after that, which is almost 50 percent, but it didn’t matter. Missouri was able to do whatever it wanted to do and what it wanted to do most was win the game, which it did in style.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall

    Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.

    April 24, 2014

  • 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

House Ads
Featured Ads