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West Virginia Vs. Duquense: Mountaineers Trail By Eleven At The Half

  • Huggins is in a suit, and Dalton Pepper and Cam Throughman are starting.  What's going on here?
  • Early on, Truck Bryant is pushing it consistantly pushing it to the basket and getting swallowed up by the Duquesne big men.  It seems to be a concerted effort, but it's not working.  The Mountaineers have dug themselves a five point hole.
  • The Mountaineers look horrible.  Another second grade inbounds mistake.  Ice cold shooting and completely listless passing. Everything the Mountaineers do, they do with no sense of focus.  Passes are bobbled, dribbles are mishandled, and everything looks out of sync.  Duquesne responds with hustle and great shooting and they are rewarded with an extended lead.
  • Joe Mazzulla comes in and actually runs some plays, one of which is a Cam Thoroughman layup.  Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, nothing much else happens and the Dukes continue their torrid shooting.  Down ten, the Mountaineers are desperate for someone to step up on offense.  Defense will come and Duquesne can't keep shooting like this.  With no answers on offense, points continue to be in short supply.
  • Clang.  It's the sound of the game right now.  The Mountaineers are missing from long range, from short range, and everywhere in between.  Huggins puts Deniz Kilicli in the game for the first time at the nine minute mark.  I wondered why he waited so long, but after a few minutes I understood.  The Turk still isn't there.  On a team full of guys looking lost, he stands out.  John Flowers is providing all sorts of hustle, but is also missing shots left and right just like the rest of the blue and gold.
  • The Dukes love going backdoor, and have used it effectively all night.  The Mountaineers overplay so much in their man-to-man it almost asks for it.  Luckily, the Mountaineers often have enough length to recover and contest the shot.
  • Kevin Noreen makes his debut with four minutes left.  Love that kids moxie.  Hopefully he can provide a spark, because right now the Mountaineers need it.
  • Ice cold Mountaineer three point shooting.  Ice. Cold.  Kevin Jones hit his first, and that's been it.  Couple that with more ugly turnovers than you can shake a stick at, the Mountaineers are in a big hole.  They've chipped away, and as long as they go into the half under ten, then I think they'll be fine.
  • On the Mountaineers' final possession Truck Bryant air balls a three, emblematic of the team's play for the entire half.  Down eleven, I expect Huggins to spew some fire and brimstone in the locker room.  He's desperately looking for somebody to step up, but he hasn't found it yet.  He's shuffling the lineup like someone feeling around for their keys in the dark.  I hope he finds something that can start the Mountaineers' engines.
  • Down eleven at the half.  Eleven.  This isn't pretty at all.

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