West Virginia Vs. Marshall: Mountaineers Upset By Thundering Herd In Foul-Filled Debacle

The Mountaineers and Thundering Herd square off for basketball bragging rights in the Mountain State.

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West Virginia Vs. Marshall: Thundering Herd Upset Mountaineers In Bizarre Capital Classic

  • ...and the second half is underway with 5 points in 30 seconds from the Herd, and Huggins has already called a timeout.  Mountaineers, meet crisis mode.  You live here the rest of the night.  Down 19, there's a pretty big task ahead of the 'Eers right now.  It doesn't matter who the competition is.  It's time to go, and now.
  • After calling everything in the first half, Kilicli gets knocked down with no call. The Mountaineers haven't scored in ten minutes of play.  Nuts.  The margin is twenty two.  TWENTY TWO!?!
  • Bending Bending good! Casey Mitchell finally hits a little runner, and the Mountaineers have scored.  Margins still above twenty though.  And we can't have that.
  • Wow.  Marshall keeps scoring, and its just brutal.  In a lot of ways, this game needs to be envisioned as a bunch of pent up aggression left over from Marshall's big choke in the football game.  I mean, these kids are playing like they're out for Mountaineer blood.  Right now, they seem to be getting it.  Last year's Final Four team could come back from a twenty plus deficit against a Conference USA team.  I'm not convinced this year's can.
  • Just when things are looking up, following threes from Casey Mitchell and John Flowers, just when momentum was to be seized, Mitchell jumps a passing lane and goes all the way to the rack and misses the dunk.  It's a perfect example of the entire game in an instant.
  • A few more sparks from the Mountaineers, but still no fire.  They're playing a matchup zone that seems mildly effective, but they're still plagued by the constant fouls.  No flow means no opportunity to put ten points or so on the board real quick.
  • The 'Eers have made up some ground by going to the line.  A twenty plus deficit  has cut the lead to twelve.  The game is slowly becoming manageable.  That's good for WVU, it almost got away from them there for a minute.  The entire team has to play smart down the stretch.
  • A double technical on Cam Thoroughman and DeAndre Kane.  This is a wrestling match disguised as a basketball game.
  • Casey Mitchell is fouled shooting a three from behind some guy's head.  These camera angles cannot be worse. He hits all three, and the deficit is seven.  They've halved their halftime deficit.  For the first time in over an hour, I think the 'Eers may win this one.
  • Cam fouls out.  That Tech hurts now.  This foul, was invisible, and called by a ref way off the ball.  This officiating is ridiculous.
  • At the final television timeout, West Virginia still trails by a dozen.  This doesn't look good at all. After some back and forth action and some brutal missed free throws, Flowers buries a three.  Still down eight though.
  • I don't understand where Kilicli has been.  He's been out of the game for a long stretch.  The Mountaineers have been making headway, but they need points.  The Turk can help with that.
  • Kevin Jones buries a big three! Five point game.  The Herd looks like they're playing tense, there's an opportunity there.
  • The fouling continues, after a Herd basket, Mitchell cuts it back to five....but charges. No basket. This game's almost done.  West Virginia has slipped into fouling mode, but the way this game has been called, it's hard to tell anythings really changed.
  • Shockingly, Truck Bryant is fouled shooting threes.... twice.  Nothing in this game is normal.  He goes to the line and cuts the Herd lead to three.  This game is beyond bizarre.  Unfortunately the necessary fouler on the next possession was Flowers, who has now fouled out.
  • Three three-pointers missed on the the Mountaineers last possession and this one is over.

This game tonight was a brutal example of why the Mountaineers' inability to run offense is its' achillies heel.  Withou an eight an a half minute drought tonight, the 'Eers win this one going away.  Instead, it's another wild and wacky one in Charleston.

Final Score 75-71. Marshall fans are rushing the court.  I'm going to bed angry.

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West Virginia Vs. Marshall: After Ugly First Half, Mountaineers Trail Herd By 14

This game isn't in high def.  Fitting I guess.  All of Charleston's still in low def.

  • Mountaineers win the tip and have an unforced turnover on possession number one.  As we call it: business as usual.
  • The first few minutes are a barrage of what you hate to see as a Mountaineer fan.  A Truck turnover (complete with redeeming three), a stupid foul from Kevin Jones and a textbook Kilicli charge.
  • At the second television timeout, it's tied 8-8.  It's pretty brutal.  Seriously, if you're reading this in hopes to catch up on a game you can't watch, don't sweat it.  You're not missing much but a barrage of turnovers and brutal misses from Deniz Kilicli and Kevin Jones.
  • Truck's two quick turnovers have landed him a seat next to Huggins and Joe Mazzulla's running the show now.  I wish I could tell you the offense is humming right now, but it's not.  It seems that this team's two biggest obstacles seem to appear no matter the competition.
  • Kilicli scores on back to back to back possessions, and the offense finally looks like it's got a plan.  One was a dunk, and a couple of baby hooks.  Either way, this kid will blossom as an offense force eventually.  I'm just not sure that's going to be this season. Either way, he provides an offensive spark, and miraculously raises the team's field goal shooting percentage out of the thirties.
  • Make that eight in a row from the Turk.  He looks like he finally realizes that he can put that thing in the bucket pretty easily.
  • Kilicli has picked up his second foul.  Nigel Spikes, who guards him, has three already.  Giant men banging into each other will not be tolerated, apparently.
  • Last television timeout of the half.... and neither team has broken twenty.  This is incredibly ugly.  If you like fouls and turnovers, you'll love this. West Virginia has 17 turnovers or fouls.... and 18 points.  8 baskets, 8 turnovers. This is hurting my eyes.
  • After seventeen minutes of play, both teams have broken twenty.  Cam Thoroughman and Nigel Spikes both have three fouls in the first half. Ridic.
  • The Mountaineers are on a looooooong drought.  They haven't made a bucket in eight minutes and their foes in Green have gone on a 19-2 run in the interim.  The 'Eers are now down 12 with under a minute left in the half.  It's been hard to watch, with 27 fouls being called it's hard to get into any kind of rhythm.  The shots they do get off, don't even seem to come close to going in.
  • Pitts buries a three on the Herd's last possession and they go into the locker room up 35-21 in one of the ugliest halves of basketball I've ever seen.  This is not fun to watch.  I expect the team to come out re focused, but there's quite of work to do. At the half the Mountaineers have 8 field goals and 11 turnovers, and they're held to their lowest halftime total of the year. 
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West Virginia Vs. Marshall: Mountaineers Try To Keep Their Winning Streak Alive In The Capital Classic

It's time for the weirdest game on West Virginia's schedule!  It's the annual mid-week, mid-state showdown between West Virginia's two D1 basketball schools, the West Virginia Mountaineers and Marshall Thundering Herd. Some folks hate this game, but I'm always entertained.  The Capital Classic is always unpredictable and usually memorable. Here's what I'm looking at tonight....

  • The return of Tom Herrion! Marshall's first year basketball coach is most notable as being the Pitt assistant who got pelted with quarter during last year's Backyard Brawl. While it's never been possible to prove which team's fans threw the quarter, it can almost be assumed it was a Mountaineer fan. It's doubtful that this provides much additional motivation, but I guarantee it will give the announcers something to talk about all night. I bet John Sanders is on the mic, which means we're in for a whole evening of bending, bending, bending..... good!
  • Marshall is led by two scoring guards, Damier Pitts and DeAndre Kane. The Mountaineers have had trouble defending dynamic guards this season, let alone two of them. Odds are John Flowers will draw Kane, and Joe Mazzulla will match up with Pitts, based on the fact Kane has six inches on Pitts. Either way, how the Mountaineers defend these two will be the deciding factor as to whether this one is tightly-contested or not.
  • The other factor is that John Flowers needs to stay out of foul trouble, which he's been doing the last few games. The good folks at The City of Morgantown shot me a terrifying stat this morning: WVU is 1-2 in games Flowers plays less than 22 minutes. Stop hacking, JFlow! The Mountaineers have a Cam Thoroughman for that.
  • The continuing development of Deniz Kilicli. Purdue was a big game for the Big Turk. While he only had 8 points, it's not his scoring I worry about. He can score. That's obvious. It's his ability to defend and rebound that will be what gets him on the floor for Bob Huggins and he's showing improvement in both of those areas. He didn't shut down JuJuan Johnson, but that's okay, that seems like an unthinkable thing to ask someone to do. Instead, he played smart and tough and grabbed as many boards as he could which is what the Mountaineers will need from him down the stretch.  If he can defend and rebound well enough to stay on the court, the points will come.
  • Finally, I'm going to use this space to say I think it's cool that Marshall's mascot is singular. That puts them in a small but elite group with Notre Dame, Army, Standford, Tulane and Tulsa. That's the only thing that puts them in the same breath as those schools. I'd remiss as a blogger not to use this space to pontificate on the truly inconsequential, and that is truly inconsequential.

Check back during and after the game, for more from SB Nation Pittsburgh!

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