“We’ve just got to make something happen.”
That was coach Bob Huggins’ brief message Tuesday afternoon at the Coliseum before putting his West Virginia University basketball team through a final full practice before tonight’s 7:30 game here against TCU.
Both teams will be trying to halt losing streaks in a game which will be televised by ESPN2. WVU (8-9 overall, 1-3 Big 12) has lost three in a row since a 57-53 overtime win at Texas. TCU (9-9, 0-5) has not won since December, dropping five straight.
Huggins has labeled WVU’s effort in its last loss, 79-52 last Saturday at Purdue, as unacceptable. The previous two setbacks in the current skid were 65-64 to Kansas State at home and 69-67 at Iowa State.
“In all honesty, we’re a shot or a call or bounce away from winning another three or four,” Huggins said. “I think the problem is we don’t make that happen. We just kind of hope it happens.
“You go back and look. It seems like we miss free throws when we’ve shot the ball decent. We’ve shot the ball bad and made free throws. You take the Gonzaga and Purdue games away, and we’ve certainly had our chances.”
Huggins believes the Mountaineers are capable of rebounding from the loss at Purdue.
“All I can tell you is we had I thought (Monday) one of the best practices we’ve had in a while, for whatever that’s worth,” Huggins said.
The Horned Frogs’ last two losses have come at home, the latest by 63-50 last Saturday against Iowa State.
“We have to keep fighting,” TCU first-year coach Trent Johnson said. “We make some improvements, and then we take a step back in certain areas.”
The previous game, TCU fell to Kansas State, 67-54.
“I thought we played probably as about as good as we could play for about the first three or four minutes,” Johnson said. “But like most good teams that are mature, skilled, understand their roles — we had a couple breakdowns defensively, we had a couple breakdowns offensively — and they make you pay.”
TCU hopes to avoid its first 0-6 conference start since 2001-02 in its first-ever game against WVU.
TCU ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 12 in the NCAA in scoring defense (56.4 ppg). It is No. 13 nationally in fewest 3-pointers allowed per game (4.3) and 77th in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (31.0).
Offensively, though, the Horned Frogs are averaging only 54.8 points per game.
“They’re good enough,” Huggins said. “We’re going to have to play well. I’m sure they’ll be like everybody else, try to make us shoot it on the perimeter.”
Kyan Anderson, a 5-11 sophomore guard, is TCU’s top scorer with a 11.4 average. Garlon Green, a 6-7 senior forward, is Horned Frogs’ other double-figure scorer with a 10.9 average.
TCU typically uses much of the shot clock and attempts to keep its opponent from getting into transition.
“They run good sets,” Huggins said. “They look at the options when they come through. They’ve got good continuity to them. They just try to make you guard them for the full shot clock, but it’s not like if they have something before that they’re not going to take it.”
WVU guards Gary Browne (ankle) and Terry Henderson (back) have both practiced and are expected to play, Huggins noted. Henderson has missed the last two games.
Email Cliff Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stingy TCU up next for Mountaineers
“We’ve just got to make something happen.”
Polar Bear tennis sweeps East: PHOTOS
Last week East Fairmont’s girls’ tennis team beat Fairmont Senior, 4-3.
Wednesday at Fairmont State University, the Polar Bears returned the favor with a 5-2 win over their cross-town rival.
Alissa Link won No. 1 singles, 8-4. Morgan Hoke won No. 3 singles, 9-7. And Avery Towns won No. 4 singles, 8-5, for the Polar Bears.
Falcons set for spring game
Football is back … well, kind of.
Today at 7 p.m., Fairmont State will hold its annual Maroon & White spring game at Duvall-Rosier Field. The scoreboard won’t mean a whole lot since it’s little more than a glorified scrimmage. Instead, here are five things to watch during today’s game.
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.”
Hillberry commits to Wesleyan
Last year Emma Harrison and Kaitlyn Conaway teamed up with Alexis Hillberry to win several relay medals at the state track meet.
Though the two West Virginia Wesleyan runners are now in college, they helped to pass the baton to Hillberry Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to join her former teammates on the Bobcats’ track team.
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.
North, East softball earn blowout wins
The North Marion softball team was at it again Wednesday night.
Mattie Polling tripled and singled, starting pitcher Chelsi Latocha doubled and gave up just one hit as the Huskies rolled to another 3-inning mercy-rule victory over Lewis County, 18-1.
Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2
Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.
Pens squander lead, fall to Columbus
Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Nick Foligno’s wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS
They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.
Mascaro signs with FSU
Gabi Mascaro is staying in Fairmont.
After considering several out-of-state colleges, the Fairmont Senior soccer standout signed her National Letter of Intent Tuesday to continue her career at Fairmont State University, an upstart program which will play its first games in 2015.
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