The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

December 6, 2012

Dominant Deniz

Mountaineers take total control inside, battle by Marshall, 69-59

CHARLESTON — In the end, as the sellout crowd of 11,512 fans walked out of the Civic Center Coliseum here, they were talking mostly about the fight that nearly was, about a battle royal in the final minute and a half that started with an intentional tripping of West Virginia University’s Juwan Staten by Marshall’s Robert Goff and ended with a West Virginia victory, 69-59.

Indeed, that was the exclamation point to a most contentious evening, one in which Deniz Kilicli took charge inside with 21 points and where the Mountaineers dominated the paint, doubling Marshall’s output there with 36 points to just 18 for the Thundering Herd.

But this, in many ways, was a victory not so much of talent, not even so much of a WVU will that was iron on this evening, but instead of some nifty coaching by Bob Huggins, who is now 713 wins into what surely will be a Hall of Fame career.

Indeed, it was the scouting report that had the Mountaineers hammering the ball inside, in part because they had a bit of an edge there with Kilicli and Aaric Murray, along with Kevin Noreen, but also because Marshall acted as though it didn’t want any part of it.

Oh, they banged and talked some trash but in the end, this was Kilicli’s assessment:

“Their bigs don’t want to guard nobody.”

And so, from the time WVU took the lead late in the first half, that was the advantage that WVU tried to capitalize on.

It was not, however, all the coaching Huggins would do on this night.

Late in the first half, everything seemed to be going WVU’s way. They had scored six straight points and had taken the lead and had just gotten a rebound when Huggins called time out.

Why then, with his team streaking?

There was a reason. He wanted to go to his 1-3-1 defense.

It was a surprise move, a shocking move, and Marshall had no idea what hit it.

“We confused them a bit,” point guard Juwan Staten said. “Until then Huggs hadn’t used it much, and when he did it was when we were behind. They weren’t expecting it.”

It was so effective that it led to three straight turnovers, two straight baskets and a third on a slam dunk at the buzzer that was waved off by the officials because it had come a little bit too late.

The second bit of coaching was pure Huggins at his best. It came again after a timeout, WVU up 52-46 with 4:57 left.

Huggins had inserted five new players into the game, one of whom was Keaton Miles. They took the ball out on the side near halfcourt/ Two passes later, Miles had sneaked in the back door and taken a nifty pass from Kevin Noreen and slammed it with such a force that the entire Civic Center seemed to shake as the crowd broke loose.

The lead had jumped to eight and the air went out of the Herd, WVU never wavering and putting it away after Goff expressed his exasperation by tripping Staten to set off the fireworks.

After that, it was a rollicking WVU student section cheering the team to the end.

At one point they chanted “Warm up the bus! Warm up the bus!” at the beaten Marshall team and at another point it was “Marshall High School, Marshall High School.”

They had reason to cheer. This was probably the best WVU has played this year, and it comes as a direct result of Huggins pushing them hard following their trip to Florida in which they lost two of three games during the Old Spice Classic.

“Huggins really put us through it,” Kilicli said. “He yelled at us. We were on that treadmill a lot. But it was good for us. We came together.”

And now they find themselves in the heart of their non-conference schedule, coming home to face an unbeaten Virginia Tech team on Saturday afternoon, then going to Duquesne before heading to Brooklyn to face John Beilein and his unbeaten, No. 3-ranked Michigan Wolverines.

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

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos