The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

February 24, 2013

Poor second half sinks WVU 

Team dips under .500 with loss to Cowboys

MORGANTOWN — At halftime of Saturday’s Big 12 matchup in the  Coliseum West Virginia found itself locked in a tight battle, trailing No. 14 Oklahoma State, 35-33.

True, they had gotten off to a good start and seen a 7-point lead turn into an 8-point deficit at one point, but they had battled back and looked as though they might be able to put the home court advantage to use and maybe, finally, beat a team that was ahead of them in conference play.

Wrong.

By the time they got through making a fool of themselves through the second half, the Cowboys had marched off with a 73-57 victory before 10,038 fans who had more to cheer during a tight-wire act at halftime than they had to cheer once intermission was over.

Once again, the Mountaineers came unglued in the second half. They were outscored, 38-24, making only six field goals in the final 20 minutes.

In fact considering that they started the game making five of their first nine shots, for the rest of the game they hit but 11 of 44, which 25 percent, leaving them shooting just 30.2 percent for the game.

You see that in rec leagues.

“It carried over from the first half. We couldn’t handle the pressure, whatever they were throwing at us, the 1-3-1, 2-2-1 sometimes,” said Kevin Noreen, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds in another solid, workmanlike performance that went for naught.

“That wasn’t because of them. It was because of us not keeping our heads in it. It wasn’t even a pressure type of press, not meant to turn the ball over. It was meant to slow you down. The way we turned the ball over was not acceptable.”

“It’s doesn’t seem like we compete as hard,” coach Bob Huggins would say. “What makes this is a hard game is you have to do the right thing all the time. When you are told a thousand times not to overrun the ball and you overrun the ball and they make another pass and you overrun the ball again, they end up 5 on 3 with a layup, it beats you.

“They have been told, I put them on the treadmill and they continue to do the same thing. There is going to come a time when you figure out that is not the right thing to do.”

That time has not yet come and now only four games remain in the regular season and they will be underdogs in each, which probably means that they will finish with a sub-.500 record for the regular season and probably the year.

They currently are 13-14 and 6-8 in the Big 12 and seem to be getting worse, not better.

“The thing we should be doing is getting hungrier from these losses. That should be motivation to play harder and practice harder,” Noreen said.

“Huggs always tells us about his team in Cincinnati, how you wouldn’t want to be the team that would play them after a loss. I don’t think he ever lost three games in a row there.”

West Virginia has already lost three in a row this season and now has lost two straight with the next game on Wednesday against Baylor.

Noreen understands that this has been a team that has shot poorly, passed poorly and hasn’t rebounded as well as many WVU teams do.

He says that isn’t really what’s killing them.

“Huggs has had teams in the past that can’t shoot, can’t score, but that’s when they run offense. My first year here was like that with Joe and Cam. We ran offense and wore the other team down,” he said.

This team, however, doesn’t know the offense and therefore can’t run it.

More important, though, it isn’t hammering away at games from start to finish.

   “The truth is, we got beat to loose balls, we got beat to balls going out of bounds and we have gotten beat to everything. We have a whole bunch of guys standing around and watching,” Huggins said.

Especially in the second half when things begin to go badly.

And that’s what hurts the most, for you can overlook a lack of ability if you are playing your hardest, but that just hasn’t been the case.

While Oklahoma State put five players in double figures, led by Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown with 16 points each, WVU managed to get 11 points from Aaric Murray and 10 from Humphrey as their leading scorers.

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

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • 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

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Gold-Blue Game answers few questions at quarterback

    Dana Holgorsen finds himself in a quarterback quandary.
    He’s looking to have one quarterback and has five of them as spring practice ends, and nothing about the spring session has done anything to straighten out the situation.

    April 13, 2014

  • Moore ‘back at home’ under center

    There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.
    The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

    April 13, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU punter turns heads at linebacker

    They call him “Huey the Punter.”
    His real name is Houstin Syvertson. His real position is not punter. Not anymore, anyway.
    To be honest, until Saturday’s spring game, not many people following West Virginia football knew the name or the nickname. They know it now.

    April 13, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads