|Field Goal %||23.1||52.6|
|Three Point %||18.8||36.4|
|Free Throw %||70.7||65.0|
The West Virginia Mountaineers (10-13, 2-8) received their second 31-point loss of the season on Monday night to the No. 18 Texas Tech Red Raiders (18-5, 6-4) 81-50, in Lubbock, TX.
“They made shots – we didn’t make shots, then we threw the ball to them. We’re very generous bunch of guys. They’ll throw the ball to anybody.” Explained West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins after the game.
It’s a simple explanation that has been uttered in just about all 13 West Virginia losses. The Mountaineers had nearly a 10-minute scoring drought in their first 31-point loss back on January 15th in Ft Worth, TX to TCU.
West Virginia may have one-upped that stat on Monday night. WVU went without a field goal for over 12 minutes in the first half. However, they did score, and oddly enough, they got their points from the free throw line. The Mountaineers came into the game shooting 67.9% but was 14-18 (77.8%) at the half. Although they took advantage of their free throws, they shot just 3-17 from the field.
Texas Tech Senior guard Matt Moony harassed the West Virginia guards all night long. He ended the night with four steals and added nine points and five assists.
“(Matt) Moony, he just big boy’d us.” Said Huggins. “His physicality just took our guards totally out of the game and then, obviously they didn’t get us into offense. And so, now your running around out there and you don’t know what you’re doing because the guy with the ball is dribbling between his legs and going from sideline to sideline to try to get away from Moony, rather than trying to pass the ball to somebody. He totally took over the game.”
West Virginia forced 21 turnovers, nonetheless, they turned the ball over 26 times themselves in what was has been a season long struggle to take care of the ball.
“How do you throw a two-hand chest pass through three guys? How do you, as a major college basketball player, catch it and put it over your head, and think you’re going to be able to pass to a guy from over your head?” Asked a frustrated Huggs. “The ball is like a magnet. Put the ball over your head that guys hands automatically go up. I don’t think they can get away with in high school really. A lot of the guys we depend on, really had bad games.
Freshman Derek Culver has been a huge bright spot for the Mountaineers. After a tumultuous start to the season, Culver has been a force down in the paint. He has had his “freshman mistakes”; however, he’s been their most consistent scorer and had a game high 23 points and 12 rebounds. It is his fifth double-double of the season.
“Derek doesn’t have a clue. It’s amazing that he gets done what he gets done cause he doesn’t have a clue.” Stated Huggins. “If he will listen and will put the time in and work at it, for instance, like Sagaba did. Sags was a lot like Derek early on and really didn’t understand how to go away from pressure and didn’t have a jump hook and those kinds of things. And, he really put a lot of time in and worked at it and got really.. I mean, he’s a pretty good low post player now because he spent time and he understands going away from pressure, not shooting it on the turn and those kind of things. Where Derek has never really done that. If Derek will make the commitment that Sags did or I like a Devin Williams did, he’s going to be a heck of player. It’s amazing what he gets done not knowing what he’s doing.
The Mountaineers host Texas inside the WVU Coliseum Saturday at 8:00 pm est.