The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

January 10, 2013

‘What we do’

WVU hits boards hard, rallies to 57-53 OT win over Texas

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University’s first Big 12 victory was a memorable win in a most forgettable overtime game.

Fighting back from a 13-point deficit in a game where they could have been down 30, the Mountaineers could not clinch the victory until Aaric Murray stole a Texas pass and sank two free throws with 6.5 seconds left for a 57-53 final score.

Texas coach Rick Barnes had won all 14 of his previous conference home openers.

  West Virginia had missed 14 consecutive 3-point shots and was in jeopardy of seeing its streak of 436 consecutive games with a 3-point basket broken when Kevin Noreen, of all people, hit a 3 to get them back into contention. A struggling Jabarie Hinds, who had missed all five of his 3-point tries, then tied the game at 47 with a 3, and then WVU nearly won it in regulation as Eron Harris hit a 3 for a 50-47 lead in the final seconds.

But the Longhorns, who now have dropped each of their first two conference games this season in overtime, tied the game when Jonathan Harris dropped his own 3 on top of that to force overtime.

In overtime the Mountaineers crushed the offensive boards, allowing them to run one possession for almost two minutes. In all they had 17 offensive rebounds, Noreen showing the way with 13 boards.

“This is what we do,” Huggins said of the rebounding. “This is what I’m accustomed to seeing us doing. I wasn’t accustomed of seeing what they had been doing. If we play this way, we’re going to be all right.”

The Mountaineers now are 8-6 and even their Big 12 record at 1-1.

As play started, neither coach knew what to expect from his team, at least what good to expect.

“You never know who is going to play; you never know who is going to show up,” Huggins had said in preparing for the game.

His counterpart, Rick Barnes, coaching the youngest team in America with two freshmen and three sophomores starting and not a junior or senior in his rotation, echoed Huggins’ feelings as his team has had similar struggles.

“Like Bobby,” Barnes said, “I don’t know what to expect.”

“We’re young, but as coaches, we can’t accept that,” Barnes continued. “Sometimes maybe we’re unrealistic that way. We do realize it’s something they’re going through they haven’t gone through, but they think they’re older than they are. If they think that way, they ought to play like they’re older than they are.”

While Texas had been suffering similar problems scoring to WVU’s, the Longhorns figured to shut down the Mountaineers’ anemic attack as they were allowing only 60 points a game and were No. 1 in the nation allowing just 33 percent from the field and 23 percent from 3-point range.

Considering the Mountaineers were shooting just 39.7 percent from the field, which was 303rd in the country, and 28.7 from 3-point range, which would have been No. 317 if it qualified to be ranked, what transpired was quite predictable.

The Mountaineers were terrible … and so was Texas as the Longhorns led, 24-21, at the half.

There was no telling how bad it might have been had Texas not been 4-for-14 from the free-throw line in the first half with seven turnovers while the Mountaineers outrebounded the Longhorns 21-15.

Shooting in the first half was worse than normal for WVU, which hit but 25 percent of its field goals and never did hit one of its 10 3-point tries. The Mountaineers missed 15 of their last 17 shots of the half.

About the only thing that worked was Huggins decision to start Noreen, who cleared 8 rebounds in the first half.

“I don’t know that our bigs can play very long,” Huggins said of the decision to go with Noreen and Dominique Rutledge instead of Deniz Kilicli and Aaric Murray. “Down the stretch against Oklahoma we didn’t play well down, so we will try to keep the big guys fresher, get them in and get them out.”

He had to. By halftime Rutledge and Kilicli had three fouls each and Murray two.

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

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • 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

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 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

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    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

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    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

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