Over Before It Started

West Virginia fell behind early and was never in the game as they lost an 87-66 decision to Providence on Saturday

The Friars ran out to an early lead of 10-2 and never looked back, building a massive first-half lead and then coasting home for an easy conference win.

West Virginia, as has been the case in just about every game they have played this year against solid competition, fell behind in the first few minutes of the game. However, unlike several of those contests, where the Mountaineers battled back, this game was over at the 15:00 mark of the first half.

Providence shredded West Virginia's 1-3-1 zone, using the high low post combination of Marcus Douthit and Ryan Gomes to attack the WVU zone from the free throw line and low block. This resulted in some easy chances for the big pair.

The problem was compounded when WVU defenders collapsed inside, as the big men then found wide open Providence shooters on the perimeter. The Friars were a blistering 13-19 from three-point range, and all but about two of those successful attempts came without a Mountaineer in the same zip code.

The Friars' shooting night was exemplified by Sheku Kabba, a 36% shooter coming into the game. Kabba hit nine of his 11 attmepts, including five uncontested three-point shots, to lead all scorers with 24 points.

WVU had four players in double figures, led by Kevin Pittsnogle with 15. However, the Mountaineers reeled off their third poor shooting night in their last four games, this time hitting just 38.2% from the field. Patrick Beilein had 12 points on four three-pointers, D'or Fischer had a double-double (11 points and 13 rebounds) and Tyler Relph added 11.

West Virginia, trailing badly throughout, did experiment a bit with both D'or Fischer and Kevin Pittsnogle on the floor at the same time. The results of that test were, at best inconclusive. However, it could not have been any worse than the more conventional lineups on the floor, which did nothing to stop the Friar offense in the first half.

WVU (8-6, 1-3) closes out the non-conference portion of their schedule with the annual game against Marshall in Charleston on Wednesday.


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