Bob Huggins entered elite territory tonight, getting his 700th win with 70-68 overtime victory against Missouri State, but it was far from pretty. The Mountaineers needed a last second desperation three pointer from freshman guard Gary Browne to get to overtime, and saw a potential game tying lay-up by Nathan Scheer rim out at the buzzer to preserve victory. If there were only one word to describe the victory it would be: lucky. (Runner up word: ugly).
The story of the game was the emergence of Gary Browne as a dynamic part of the Mountaineer scoring offense. His thirteen points all came when they were desperately needed. Despite his miracle heave with a second left, he seemed to be the only Mountaineer who wasn't suckered into taking ill-advised jump shots. Fellow freshman Aaron Brown hit four three pointers, including two at key moments in the second half.
As usual, Kevin Jones had a stellar game, dropping 17 points and hauling in 13 rebounds. His fellow upperclassmen Truck Bryant and Deniz Kilicli weren't so lucky. Truck managed to miss far more shots than he made, including a crucial front end of a one and one in overtime that could have delivered the game to the Bears. Kilicli spent the bulk of the second half on the bench after forcing a series of ill-advised deep shots. Kevin Noreen played in his place, but also fell prey to the allure of jacking up jump shots from outside his range. It was a stretch of play in the second half where Kilicli and Noreen missed shots on three consecutive possessions which led to Missouri State baskets and dug the Mountaineers into a deep hole. If it weren't for Gary Browne, the 'Eers would still be looking for a way to get Huggins his 700th.
WVU faces Baylor tomorrow night in Vegas at 9pm.