The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

January 29, 2013

Another loss

No. 2 Kansas outlasts West Virginia, 61-56

MORGANTOWN — Aaric Murray put on a spectacular show off the bench and West Virginia cut a 15-point deficit to two points late in the second half but could not find a way to get past No. 1/2 Kansas, losing, 61-56, before a wild crowd.

Murray scored 17 points, hit 3 of 5 3-point shots and grabbed seven rebounds as he almost inspired the Mountaineers to a stunning upset.

Instead, the Jayhawks of Coach Bill Self won their 18th consecutive game, giving them a 19-1 record.

Seven-foot Jeff Withey finished with 15 points and seven rebounds while Travis Releford also scored 15 for the Jayhawks.

The students gathered early and ready to put on their game face for national television, and keeping with the “Stripe the Coliseum” theme for the evening they had themselves a blue section between two gold sections.

If Kansas was going to win this one, it would not be their fault as they were ready to rock ’n’ roll, some shirtless, some dressed in the zaniest of costumes including Batman and Batgirl, some with blown-up pictures not only of basketball coach Bob Huggins’ head, player Deniz Kilicli’s head but also of football coach Dana Holgorsen’s.

The town was not quite as excited about the game as the students, tickets being offered online for $2 just hours before the game.

Kansas had been promoted to No. 1 in the nation in the coaches’ poll earlier in the day, sitting second in the AP poll, making them the kind of basketball royalty that qualified to have Brent Musberger, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe be assigned the Big Monday announcing chores by ESPN.

All the parts were in place for a classic, beginning with Matt Jones’ emotional rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the anticipation of the Red Panda Acrobat’s always entertaining halftime show.

Only Huggins’ athletes had to cooperate.

That seemed to be the most difficult aspect of the evening as Kansas completely dominated the early going. It took WVU 7 minutes and 24 seconds before it could score a basket, that coming on a Deniz Kilicli hook, and with 6 minutes left in the half the Mountaineers trailed by 15, 29-14.

But Huggins continued moving players in and out, trying to find some combination that would slow the Jayhawks and there came a time when Murray asserted himself and changed the flow.

With 4:30 remaining in the half, Murray stepped in front of a crosscourt pass and stole it, broke free ahead of everyone and hit a thunderous dunk that cut the Kansas lead to 30-20, bringing a roar from the crowd that only increased in intensity when guard Gary Browne made another steal,

drove on the 7-foot Jeff Withey and fed Murray, who not only hit the layup but drew a foul and it was 30-23.

That was as close as WVU would get, the half ending with KU in front 38-30, but WVU had established that it could play with the Jayhawks, Murray offsetting Withey’s 13 points with nine of his own.

Murray’s play carried over into the second half as he hit WVU’s first basket, his second 3 of the night, and then made a steal as the crowd became more jacked up, helped no end by the return of the “YMCA” during the first time out and a fan holding aloft a sign that read:

I STILL

HATE PITT

The Mountaineers eventually cut the lead to two points but could never get over the hump.

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

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • 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

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Gold-Blue Game answers few questions at quarterback

    Dana Holgorsen finds himself in a quarterback quandary.
    He’s looking to have one quarterback and has five of them as spring practice ends, and nothing about the spring session has done anything to straighten out the situation.

    April 13, 2014

  • Moore ‘back at home’ under center

    There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.
    The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

    April 13, 2014

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