Mountaineers Want to Keep Friars Winless

The mood around practice inside the Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon wasn't what one might have expected from a team that just beat their arch-rival before a national television audience.

You would think that after knocking off hated Pitt on Saturday night, the Mountaineers would be loose and looking forward to playing winless Providence. The mood inside the Coliseum was business as usual for John Beilein and his players.

"They're a very talented team. We shouldn't have any misunderstandings that we should beat this team just because we're at home. We're going to have to play a whale of a game to win," said head coach John Beilein.

West Virginia defeated the Friars 82-78 in Providence a couple of weeks back, dropping the Friars to 0-6 in league play. Since then, the Friars have blownout Virginia, but dropped another pair of league contests to Pittsburgh and Villanova.

In their previous contest against the Mountaineers, Tim Welsch's crew got behind big early, but came back to make it close at the end.

"We know they're a good team," said junior center Kevin Pittsnogle. "We've already played them once, and we were up 15 but then they came back and got in the game. We're going to go out just like last game and play hard."

"It was crazy how that second half ended, but we still won the game," added Beilein.

While center D'Or Fischer was back practicing on Tuesday after sitting out the Pitt game with an upper respiratory infection, Beilein indicated that he will again start Pittsnogle. The Martinsburg native had a career high 27 points, and tied his career high with eight rebounds against the Panthers.

Kevin won't be pressing, though, to duplicate his performance from Saturday night. Instead, he'll just play within the flow of the game.

"I'm just looking to go out and just play. I'm not worried about putting up the same numbers. I just want to go out, forget about the numbers, and just play basketball."

If their Tuesday afternoon practice was any indication, the Mountaineers as a team are looking to go out and build on what happened Saturday night, rather than take the Friars lightly. If they can build, then they will win back to back games for the first time since knocking off George Washington and N.C. State at the end of December and beginning of January. And with just six games remaining after the tilt with Providence, now is the time for the Blue and Gold to play their best basketball of the year.

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