Huggstown Weekly Roundup – 2/8/2013


Week In Review

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these that didn’t feature at least one loss. For the first time since a three game winning stream in December over Oakland, Radford, and Eastern Kentucky, WVU has won consecutive games.

Feb 2, 2013; Lubbock, TX, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard Juwan Staten goes in for a basket against Texas Tech Red Raiders forward Jaye Crockett (30) in the second half at the United Spirit Arena. West Virginia defeated Texas Tech 77-61. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The men’s basketball team fared much better in its first trip to Lubbock than the football team did. Texas Tech is a terrible basketball team, but WVU didn’t mess around. We held the lead throughout the game and stretched it in the second half to finish up with a comfortable 16 point victory. For once, we shot the ball extremely well, going 56.5% for the game from the field, including 55.6% from three. The second half was particularly amazing, as WVU made two out of every three shots they took, even from three. This was the game where the offense really seemed to come alive. Kilicli played his best game of the season, up to that point in time.

It was nice that, for once, we took a small lead into halftime (3 points) and actually increased it in the second half rather than succombing to a letdown like we usually do. Huggins employed a point-drop zone defense in the second half, and that really seemed to give us the breathing room we needed.

"“The point-drop (defense) really slowed them down,” said Huggins. “They were trying to figure out what we were doing, which nobody can figure out because we have no idea what we’re doing.”"

Following the trip to Lubbock was another home Big Monday game, this time against Texas. The crowd was small for this game, mostly due to the snow and bad road conditions. The Mountaineers didn’t shoot quite as well in this game, but still managed to lead most of the first half and take a 7 point lead into halftime. We had the lead up to 11 6 minutes into the second half before our letdown started. Within 6 minutes, Texas had reclaimed the lead. It remained close down the stretch, but we kept our cool, made some key free throws and defensive stops, and held on to win the game. Deniz Kilicli put in his best game of the season, hands down. He scored 14 points playing a team high 34 minutes, and only committed 2 fouls. He really bothered Texas inside. We need more performances like that out of him.

WVU needed these wins. We are in the midst of one of the easier stretches of the season, and it’s important for us to notch a few W’s, get our problems sorted out, and be ready to pull off some upsets and make a run late in the season. We’re off to a good start.

Jan 16, 2013; Ames IA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineer Deniz Kilicli (13) looks to pass against the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half at Hilton Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 2, 2013; Lubbock, TX, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard Eron Harris (10) shoots over Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Josh Gray (5) in the first half at the United Spirit Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Co-players of the week:

  • Eron Harris: 31 points, 6 rebounds in 61 minutes.
  • Deniz Kilicli: 23 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks in 58 minutes.

Couldn’t decide between these two, so they both win. Harris hit key buckets in each game, and Kilicli played his two best games of the year, logging lots of minutes, clogging up the inside, and scoring points for the Mountaineers. If we continue to get these types of performances from these two players, we will pull some upsets in the stretch run.

Coming Up Next Week:

  • Saturday Feb 9 @ TCU
  • Wednesday Feb 13 @ Baylor

For the first time in the Big 12, we’re playing back to back games on the road. We already beat TCU by 21 at home, so you wouldn’t think this would be a close game. However, TCU just knocked off Kansas, so I’m sure they’ll be a very confident team this Saturday. Hopefully we take care of business. Following that, we play Baylor for the first time in Big 12 play. Baylor is a very good offensive team and will be a big jump in competition for us. It’s a big road game that we have to win.

News and Notes:

  • Matt Humphrey must still be hurt- haven’t seen him for a while.
  • The officials continue to suck.