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West Virginia Vs. Rutgers: Mountaineers Outlast Scarlet Knights, 65-54

  • Cam Thoroughman gets the Mountaineers first four points of the half, first on a deep shot, then on a deep miss, which he followed for a layup.  Gotta get offense from anywhere.
  • Deniz Kilicli has been awoken, slamming home a pair of emphatic dunks.  Most importantly it meant that the Mountaineer offense is starting to create inside looks.  Kevin Jones has also gotten in on the action.
  • Casey Mitchell comes in the game and Rutgers scores seven straight points.  Coincidence?  Probably, but it can't be ignored that this team doesn't have the same rhythm when he's on the court. Rutgers now with the lead.  Veins in Huggins neck starting to bulge.
  • Mitchell finally scores.  Rutgers leads by one with ten minutes left in the game.  This is when things get interesting. I should clarify: terrifying. An old school three point play from John Flowers calms my nerves.  On an in-bounds play, no less, which is not the Eers strong suit.
  • Huggins changed out of his suit at halftime, if the 'Eers continue to play well, we can only assume this is the reason.
  • Casey goes 2-5 from three in a two possession stretch.  Luckily, Flowers is a beast on the boards and WVU controls the game right now.  The lead is extended to eight, with under seven to play.
  • ...and in one segment of play, it all comes apart.  Defensive lapses combine with turnovers on the offensive end, and Rutgers cuts the margin to three at the under-four television timeout.  Huggins has Truck back in the game and Casey on the bench.  We'll see if that's the right move down the stretch.
  • As has been their MO, the Mountaineers have let Rutgers score more points in the second half than in the first.
  • Huggins goes with the 1-3-1 for the first time all game.  He gets a miss and a board out of it.  We'll see if it continues.  It does after a made jumper from Flowers.  It gives the Scarlet Knights wide open three point opportunities, but they can't pick them up.  If one of those two shots drops, it's a different ballgame. Mazzulla hits one of two from the line to make it a six point lead, with one minute left.
  • Thoroughman picks up a big charge after being called a "global force for good" by the announcers.  I would have to agree with them.
  • Free throws down the stretch ice this for the 'Eers, mainly because Rutgers barely manages to score 50 points.  Bob Huggins going with the 1-3-1 late in the game is the play of the game for the Mountianeers.  That provided the foundation for the run that won the game, because from that point on, Rutgers never scored.  John Flowers and Kevin Jones each finished with a double double.
  • This win should mean West Virginia's a NCAA tournament lock. Now it's time for the Mountaineers to come back and pick up a win or two at home before the Big East tournament.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.