West Virginia (17-4, 5-3 Big 12) picked up its first victory in the Big 12/SEC challenge with a win over Texas A&M, but the fans and players alike seemed disappointed with the Mountaineers' inability to put the nail in the coffin down the stretch. You can go ahead and throw Mountaineer head coach Bob Huggins in that group as well, as the 35th year head coach was brutally honest in his assessment of WVU's second half performance.
"We came out in the second half and didn't play with any intensity," said Huggins. "On their first basket (in the second half), the guy who's going to be a top 10 pick in the draft, we back off of him, he shoots, and we're surprised he makes it. On an out of bounds play a senior gives as poor as an effort as we have had all year. Then (Texas A&M) makes another three and they can't understand why I'm mad at them. It just goes from there."
This marks the fourth game in a row that West Virginia has let a double digit lead turn into either a one possession game or a lead for the opposition down the stretch, and Huggins feels that is becoming a somewhat disturbing trend.
"I'd say (the fact that it's becoming a bad habit) is a fair statement," said Huggins. "We were 12 from 23, I believe it was, from the foul line. We turned it over four times in the second half. We got eight more possessions in the second half because we didn't turn it over as much as they did. But it doesn't do any good when you miss free throws. That's why they call them three."
Huggins remarked on the fan bases dissatisfaction with the continuing free throw woes and went into a detailed conversation about what is and isn't working. It's safe to say that foul shots will continue to be an area of emphasis for the Mountaineers going forward.