As usual, the Capital Classic has been a tough affair to watch, defined more by halting offense and a proliferation of turnovers than by good competition. The been completely even after twenty minutes, as Truck Bryant hit a three to tie the game at the halftime buzzer.
Kevin Noreen, getting his first career start in place of Deniz Kilicli, has acquitted himself well, picking up a couple buckets and generally playing good defense. The Herd struggled for much of the half, but rolled off a ten point run behind tough defense and missed Mountaineer shots, leading to easy transition buckets. The Mountaineers answered to tie the game with a seven point run of their own. At the half, DeAndre Kane leads all scorers with a dozen points.
WVU coach Bob Huggins has tried to hide the Mountaineers lack of size by shifitng to a 1-3-1 zone late in the half. While it initially proved successful, the Herd have adjusted and seem to handle it with aplomb. Dominique Rutledge fared well off the bench, picking up a handful of rebound, and hitting one of his free throws. Freshman Aaron Brown hit a couple of big shots late in the half to keep the deficit manageable when it looked like it could get ugly.
At the half, the Mountaineers trail the Thundering Herd and Mountaineers are tied at 30.