As a whole, West Virginia University athletics had a terrible day. Across the spectrum of WVU athletics, the Mountaineers faced a vast majority of losses with only a few wins.
In total, the Mountaineers lost in 6 of 8 athletic events today with all 6 losses coming by wide margins. The Mountaineers lost in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, wrestling, and tennis.
The men’s basketball team got their doors blown off at Purdue this afternoon behind one of the team’s worst shooting performances of the season. The Mountaineers shot a lowly 29.3% from the field and 16.7% from three point range. Poor shooting, paired with a high volume of turnovers (17) propelled Purdue to an easy blowout victory, 79-52. The loss drops the men’s team to 8-9 on the season with 4 losses in the last 5 games.
West Virginia women’s basketball was not expected to be able to compete with #1 Baylor and they did not. The Bears dominated the Mountaineers behind another monster performance by Brittney Griner. Her 26 points and 15 rebounds led the Bears to a big 76-58 victory over an outmatched Mountaineers club. Just like their male counterparts, the ladies struggled to find the basket, only converting 32.8% of their shots.
In the first Big XII swim meet for both the men’s and women’s teams, the Mountaineers dropped both meets. The men’s swimming team lost by a final score of 160-131. The women were slightly more competitive, yet still fell 160-140. Each squad had some nice wins in various events, yet could not put together enough top finishes to take down the Horned Frogs.
WVU tennis took a tough loss at #57 Ohio State, 6-1. The Mountaineers were competitive in both singles and doubles competition, but did not end up on the right side of the vast majority of the competitions. It is a tough loss to start the season for this young squad.
The most lopsided loss of the day came for the wrestling team. The Mountaineers travelled to #2 Oklahoma State for the team’s first Big XII match. The Cowboys showed the Mountaineers why they are annually one of the best squads in the nation, drumming the Mountaineers 36-3. The loss is a humbling experience for the Mountaineers but certainly a loss that WVU can learn a great deal from.
The two silver linings for the Mountaineers today came in rifle and track. Both squads came away with solid victories in their competitions.
The track team dominated their own track meet, taking the top spot in nearly every competition of the meet. Of course, the meet came against lesser competition such as Hood, Alderson-Broaddus, and Pitt-Johnstown. Still, the convincing victory is an important confidence booster to start off the spring season for the track team.
The top ranked Mountaineer rifle team faced the #8 Nebraska Cornhuskers in Morgantown. WVU took down Nebraska in both smallbore and air rifle competitions. WVU won the smallbore competition by a 2324-2309 margin while winning the air rifle competition 2365-2352. The win over Nebraska keeps the Mountaineers undefeated and in pursuit of their 6 national championship.
Outside of the rifle and track victories, January 19 is one date that the athletic department would love to forget.