The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

February 9, 2012

Notre Dame stops WVU, 55-51

Irish hit three straight 3-pointers in decisive late run

MORGANTOWN — If Kevin Jones could have scored 20 points against Notre Dame on Wednesday night before a disappointing crowd of 9,258 in the Coliseum he would have joined Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley in the West Virginia record books.

He didn’t.

In fact, he and his senior running mate Truck Bryant, who was coming off a 32-point effort against Providence, could not combine for 20 points. The result was a dismal one, Notre Dame 55, West Virginia 51.

Jones managed 14 points and 12 rebounds for his 16th double-double of the season, while Bryant may have set some kind of record going from 32 points to none, although he did have eight assists as both men played all 40 minutes.

That Jones failed to reach 20 points may not be as surprising as it may seem, for Notre Dame has not had a Big East opponent score 20 points against it this entire season.

That Bryant failed to score, and once realizing he wasn’t on stopped shooting entirely, was far more surprising, but Notre Dame was more to blame for that than his own bad marksmanship.

“He has become known as a scorer,” Jones said of Bryant and the way his performance will be viewed as the reason WVU lost. “He just didn’t have a good night scoring, but that does not mean he did contribute.”

Even though Notre Dame really did a solid job of defending him, giving him few chances to shoot, he did have eight assists and only one turnover, but that turnover came as Notre Dame was stringing together 11 straight points at the end of the game – hitting three consecutive 3s, to wipe out a 45-42 lead the Mountaineers had gained when they decided to pound the ball inside.

“Obviously, what happened was that they were 2 for 18 from 3 and they made three in a row,” a disappointed Bob Huggins said when asked to analyze what happened during the Notre Dame run at the end. “They made shots and we didn’t.

“They make a hard three to tie the game, and we don’t get Deniz (Kilicli who had 16 points) the ball on an iso and he was scoring it pretty good. They come down and make another three and now we are down three.

“Then we have a back cut and we miss the layup. I am not blaming Truck. Truck really tried to win.”

And so the game slipped away and WVU fell to 16-9 and 6-6 in the Big East, four of the losses coming in the last five games, while Notre Dame won its fifth straight to go to 16-8 and an impressive 8-3 in the Big East.

The truth is, as difficult as it was for WVU to swallow Notre Dame making the comeback, the Mountaineers lost the game in a most forgettable first half in which they scored all of 16 points while shooting 24.1 percent.

“We just couldn’t shoot from the outside,” Kilicli said. “They let us shoot and we couldn’t make it.”

As much as WVU bad shooting hurt their cause, Notre Dame’s big man Jack Cooley absolutely buried them.

“He dominated us inside,” Huggins said.

  Cooley finished with 21 points on seven of nine shooting from the field and seven of 10 from the free throw line while hauling in 12 rebounds, seven of them on the offensive end, most of them turning into baskets.

It does not get any easier for WVU, which has a hot Louisville team in town Saturday for a noon game, that followed by a trip to Pittsburgh and a return engagement with Notre Dame in South Bend.

“I can’t believe we have to play them in two weeks,” said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. “The way this thing goes, they are really a good team.”

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com. Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • ‘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

  • 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.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU’s Fleming signs 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.

    July 22, 2014

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