The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

February 16, 2014

WVU throttled by Texas, 88-71

MORGANTOWN — Who knew they were doing the state of West Virginia a favor by not televising the Mountaineers’ basketball game with Texas in the state.

It probably would have been even better if they had found a way to keep it off the radio, too.

It was that bad as Texas, which owned the rights to the game and broadcast it on the Longhorn network, battered WVU inside and scored an 88-71 victory that included no less than 10 dunks as evidence to how much it dominated the inside.

For the night, Texas outscored WVU, 46-14, in the paint and outrebounded the Mountaineers by 15 rebounds after leading in rebounds by 19 while winning the first game in Morgantown, 80-69.

The Mountaineers could not handle Cameron Ridley, the Texas big man, who finished with 17 points, six rebounds and three blocks while all five starters reached double figures, led by Javan Felix with 18 points.

On the positive side, WVU point guard Juwan Staten recorded his 1,000th career point including his year at Dayton and two years at WVU while scoring 14 despite a difficult shooting night in which the Longhorns kept him from penetrating to the basket.

Staten did have seven assists to one turnover to go with six rebounds and two steals.

Eron Harris scored 21 points but also was off shooting, saving his night by hitting 9 of 10 free throws. He has missed only two free throws all season in Big 12 play.

The first half was everything West Virginia didn’t want it to be, with the Longhorns actually threatening to decide the issue before anyone on the Mountaineers had worked up a sweat … at least not on the defensive side.

Terry Henderson put together a four-point play to give the Mountaineers a 14-11 lead early on, but before you could say “can anyone here guard anyone?” Texas went on a 17-2 run, ended only when Henderson could score again.

It was almost laughable as easily as Texas was scoring, although Bob Huggins wasn’t laughing.

“You can’t let people shoot 58 percent. I’ve had teams where if you brought the Boston Celtics in they wouldn’t have shot 58 percent,” he said after the game. “We told them we have to fortify the paint. We can’t let them attack the paint by pass or dribble. They score 46 points in the paint.”

It might not have been as bad as it seemed if someone from WVU could score, but until Staten hit his first basket with just 4:20 left in the half – that’s 15:40 in – Henderson and Eron Harris were the only Mountaineers to have scored.

Remi Dibo, Nathan Adrian, Gary Browne. ... Nothing.

Why was it so easy for Texas?

Well, they were getting shots at point-blank range, exactly what Huggins had hoped to avoid.

“As we say every day in practice, we have to get first blood. We have to go meet them, not let them come meet us or they will have us under the basket,” Huggins said before the game.

It was so bad that at halftime Texas held a 24-4 lead in points in the paint.

But WVU had a rally in them before halftime, narrowing the 18-point deficit to 40-29 at halftime as Nate Adrian hit a 3, the only points from anyone other than Harris, Henderson and Staten in the half, with 16 seconds left and then the Mountaineers put together a solid defensive stop to take something positive into the locker room.

The second half opened as the Mountaineers could only dream it would, Devin Williams sinking a 17-foot jump shot and Harris hitting a 3.

Suddenly, the lead was down to six points at 40-34, but if you thought Texas was about to crack, it was more like Texas was about to crack open the game.

Texas spurted to eight consecutive points to push the lead back to 14 but more important to establish its physical advantage again, the lead in the paint going to 30-4.

How easy were Texas’ baskets? At this point they had not missed a second-half shot, making their first five.

And it wasn’t about to change as Prince Ibeh slammed home Texas’ sixth dunk of the evening with 11:37 to play, giving them a shooting percentage of better than 64 percent for the game, nearly 30 percent higher than WVU was shooting.

Somehow, WVU kept clinging to what hope it had as Adrian continued to bang home 3s, scoring his third to cut Texas’ lead to 63-51.

Staten finally came to life offensively with a basket and then a traditional 3-point play to narrow it to 72-62, but Texas continued to pass the ball crisply and got a couple of baskets to stretch the lead out again.

The Mountaineers never could cut the into the lead any closer and now are off until they face Baylor next Saturday at home.

From that point on they play at Iowa State, host TCU, go to Oklahoma and then close the regular season at home against Kansas.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Arrest warrant out for WVU recruit

    West Virginia University’s newest men’s basketball recruit, Tarik Phillip, has an order out for his arrest in North Carolina, according to a story in The Dominion-Post, which said three Gaston County Magistrate office spokespersons confirmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • WVU baseball powers past Oklahoma, 9-5

    The WVU baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits to defeat Oklahoma, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The win gives the Mountaineers their second Big 12 series win of the season and improves the overall record to 19-16 and 4-7 in conference play. Oklahoma drops to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play.

    April 20, 2014

  • 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

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