The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

February 24, 2013

Poor second half sinks WVU 

Team dips under .500 with loss to Cowboys

MORGANTOWN — At halftime of Saturday’s Big 12 matchup in the  Coliseum West Virginia found itself locked in a tight battle, trailing No. 14 Oklahoma State, 35-33.

True, they had gotten off to a good start and seen a 7-point lead turn into an 8-point deficit at one point, but they had battled back and looked as though they might be able to put the home court advantage to use and maybe, finally, beat a team that was ahead of them in conference play.

Wrong.

By the time they got through making a fool of themselves through the second half, the Cowboys had marched off with a 73-57 victory before 10,038 fans who had more to cheer during a tight-wire act at halftime than they had to cheer once intermission was over.

Once again, the Mountaineers came unglued in the second half. They were outscored, 38-24, making only six field goals in the final 20 minutes.

In fact considering that they started the game making five of their first nine shots, for the rest of the game they hit but 11 of 44, which 25 percent, leaving them shooting just 30.2 percent for the game.

You see that in rec leagues.

“It carried over from the first half. We couldn’t handle the pressure, whatever they were throwing at us, the 1-3-1, 2-2-1 sometimes,” said Kevin Noreen, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds in another solid, workmanlike performance that went for naught.

“That wasn’t because of them. It was because of us not keeping our heads in it. It wasn’t even a pressure type of press, not meant to turn the ball over. It was meant to slow you down. The way we turned the ball over was not acceptable.”

“It’s doesn’t seem like we compete as hard,” coach Bob Huggins would say. “What makes this is a hard game is you have to do the right thing all the time. When you are told a thousand times not to overrun the ball and you overrun the ball and they make another pass and you overrun the ball again, they end up 5 on 3 with a layup, it beats you.

“They have been told, I put them on the treadmill and they continue to do the same thing. There is going to come a time when you figure out that is not the right thing to do.”

That time has not yet come and now only four games remain in the regular season and they will be underdogs in each, which probably means that they will finish with a sub-.500 record for the regular season and probably the year.

They currently are 13-14 and 6-8 in the Big 12 and seem to be getting worse, not better.

“The thing we should be doing is getting hungrier from these losses. That should be motivation to play harder and practice harder,” Noreen said.

“Huggs always tells us about his team in Cincinnati, how you wouldn’t want to be the team that would play them after a loss. I don’t think he ever lost three games in a row there.”

West Virginia has already lost three in a row this season and now has lost two straight with the next game on Wednesday against Baylor.

Noreen understands that this has been a team that has shot poorly, passed poorly and hasn’t rebounded as well as many WVU teams do.

He says that isn’t really what’s killing them.

“Huggs has had teams in the past that can’t shoot, can’t score, but that’s when they run offense. My first year here was like that with Joe and Cam. We ran offense and wore the other team down,” he said.

This team, however, doesn’t know the offense and therefore can’t run it.

More important, though, it isn’t hammering away at games from start to finish.

   “The truth is, we got beat to loose balls, we got beat to balls going out of bounds and we have gotten beat to everything. We have a whole bunch of guys standing around and watching,” Huggins said.

Especially in the second half when things begin to go badly.

And that’s what hurts the most, for you can overlook a lack of ability if you are playing your hardest, but that just hasn’t been the case.

While Oklahoma State put five players in double figures, led by Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown with 16 points each, WVU managed to get 11 points from Aaric Murray and 10 from Humphrey as their leading scorers.

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

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step Thursday

    Perhaps the most used – and least factual – cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
     

    July 30, 2014

  • Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
     

    July 30, 2014

  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • Seider's brother commits to WVU

    West Virginia University’s football team has received a commitment from one of its own.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides much optimism heading into 2014 season

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

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