The Times West Virginian

Sports

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
Sports
  • Lawyer: Wife plotted to take over Sterling trust

    A lawyer argued Monday that the estranged wife of Donald Sterling plotted to strip his client from the family trust that owned the Los Angeles Clippers after the head of the NBA said she couldn’t negotiate a sale of the franchise unless she owned all the shares.

    July 28, 2014

  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • Steelers’ Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG Post 17 falls short in Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.
    Post 17 Fairmont is hoping that they’ve now gotten all of its bad games out of the way, falling to Post 2 Morgantown, 10-0, via a 7th inning mercy rule, crowning Morgantown Area II American Legion champions.
    After playing 18 innings the night before, Fairmont couldn’t seem to get anything going at East Fairmont High School Sunday afternoon.
    As rain clouds loomed over the field, so, too, did one settle in over Post 17’s offense, Fairmont collecting just four hits the entire game.
    “Definitely not one of our better games as a team,” Fairmont’s Austin Norman said of his team’s performance. “We’ll come up tomorrow, hit and get on the same page.”

    July 28, 2014 7 Photos

  • Harrison’s 4 hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday.

    July 27, 2014

  • MLB inducts newest members into Hall of Fame

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.

    July 27, 2014

  • Post 17 falls short of Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.

    July 27, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali wins Tour de France

    Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Italian in 16 years to triumph in cycling’s greatest race by chiseling a lead over his main rivals a few seconds at a time and dominating them in the mountains.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: La Russa gives old pal Leyland a taste of Hall of Fame

    Jim Leyland didn’t expect it, at least not yet, but there he was in Cooperstown, New York for this week’s induction ceremony.

    July 27, 2014

  • JAMES UNDER RAINBOW -TS.jpg Post 17 plays itself into Area II championship game: PHOTOS

    The goal was simple for Post 17 Fairmont: Beat Bridgeport and advance to the state American Legion Tournament. But it left with more than a state tournament berth Saturday night at East Fairmont High School.
    After beating Bridgeport, 11-8, Fairmont secured a spot in next week’s state tournament. But with one challenge down, Fairmont moved on to the next: Playing itself into an area championship game.

    July 27, 2014 14 Photos

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos