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
  • LINDLEY COLUMN: Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.

    July 24, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five major sports topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers.

    July 24, 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.
    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

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