The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

February 28, 2013

Small crowd sees WVU lose again

MORGANTOWN — It happened again.

Maybe it shouldn’t have, but it did, and it wasn’t just that West Virginia lost.

It was how they lost and how they could have won, maybe should have won.

But in the end, Baylor took down a 65-62 victory over the Mountaineers before a disappointed and disappointing crowd of 6,588 fans.

It ended with West Virginia in possession of the basketball and with them taking a shot to tie the game.

That’s as it should be.

What wasn’t as it should be was that it was a 3-point shot taken by, of all people, Juwan Staten, a player who has not made a 3-point shot in his career.

“Taking a shot you can’t make isn’t what you want,” Coach Bob Huggins would say after it was over.

It wasn’t what they were going for when they took possession of the ball after Pierre Jackson had made a pair of free throws to make it a 3-point game.

Staten, the point guard, brought the ball upcourt, seemingly far too slowly considering only 18 seconds were left.

They had a play set up.

“It’s like what we have run a lot. Everyone runs it,” Huggins said. “It’s a ball screen and if they switch, you go to the basket and score and you still have three or four seconds to go and then you can foul and you have a chance.

“If they are tight on everybody, you hope that they help. (Pierre) Jackson grabbed Sweat (Kevin Noreen). He just grabbed him and held onto him because I guess they were switching everything.

“If that’s the case, then you have to get it at the rim and score and then foul them. Of get it to the rim and get a three-point play.”

But Baylor had most everything covered. Certainly they weren’t at that stage going to let Kevin Noreen’s screen open up Eron Harris, as he had caught their attention by scoring a career-high 25 points.

So there was Staten, with the ball, trying to tie the game, the ball in his hands, nowhere to pass it and now the clock rushing toward zero.

He went up for a 3, which was sort of half blocked, half just discombobulated as it came out of his hand. It was high enough to go into the basket, just 15 feet short or so and as they scrambled for the loose ball the buzzer went off and WVU fell to 13-15 and now has to sweep its final three games to be better than .500 as it heads into the Big 12 Tournament, and considering they play at Kansas and Oklahoma they have no more chance to sweep than Staten’s 3 had of going into the basket.

This was a different WVU team that played this game, right from the opening tipoff when Huggins shuffled his starting lineup, going with Aaric Murray, who had such a rough go of it early that he wound up playing only four minutes all night, along with Matt Humphrey, Deniz Kilicli, Staten and Harris.

They also opened in a zone defense, which somewhat confused Baylor for a while, but most of all they put in a new offense and it worked and got them enough shots that hit 44.4 percent in the first half and led 34-29.

Harris was pumping in points and Terry Henderson came off the bench to hit a few baskets and even Volodymyr Gerun got some playing time, enough to contribute three points and a rebound.

As usual, though, things changed in the second half. Isaiah Austin took control on offense with 21 points and three assists and WVU had enough defensive breakdowns that there were consecutive wide open layups at one point.

Then there came the expected shooting drought, WVU going almost 12 minutes with one basket, hitting just three baskets in nearly 15 minutes.

They did hit some free throws to hang in there and Noreen gave them just an exceptional outing to go with Harris, especially down the stretch.

Noreen finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, six of them offensive and mostly of the hustle variety where he had to run the ball down and fight people for it.

In fact, on the next to last possession he grabbed a key offensive rebound off a Harris miss, got the ball back to Harris, who had a really good look, and missed again.

But none of it mattered, really, because at the end the score still was going against WVU.

“It’s still a loss,” Noreen said softly, a look of disdain on his face.

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

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • 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

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

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