A Merciful End

WVU's miserable basketball season was finally euthanized by a score of 92-65 at the hands of the Pitt Panthers Saturday evening in Pittsburgh.

West Virginia, as has been the case for much its season-ending nine game losing streak, managed to keep the game close for the first 25 minutes.

Despite ten first half turnovers which led to 15 Pitt points, the Mountaineers stayed within shouting distance during the opening half and only trailed by five at the intermission.

The script continued as usual in the second half. A West Virginia rally cut into a double digit deficit, but a big opponent run was followed by mostly disinterested play that led to another blowout.

WVU fell behind by double figures quickly as the secnd half began, but a barrage of Mountaineer three pointers cut the Panther lead to 4. However, Pitt immediately responded with a 17-2 run to push the lead out to 19, and at that point the majority of the West Virginia squad threw in the towel. Garbage time became the order of the day, defense became an afterthought, and the Panthers dunked and laughed their way to the final 27 point margin.

"This all started back in Tucson," said junior forward Josh Yeager. "We play ok in the first half, but in the second half we start playing individually. That's going to be my goal in the offseason - to get people playing together. I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm going to try to do my part. The new coach coming in is going to have to lay some rules down and stick to them."

Once again, West Virginia's hideous defense was the main culprit. Pitt shot 74% from the field in the second half on 23-27 shooting. The majority of Panther shots were unhindered by any WVU defender.

Pitt was also untroubled on the ballhandling end, as they recorded 28 assists on the evening. Point guard Brandin Knight had half of those as he ran the Panther offense against only token opposition.

For WVU, freshman Drew Schifino scored twenty points. Chris Moss added 17 points and Jonathan Hargett added 14.

West Virginia lost 18 of their final 19 games on the season, and recorded only one Big East Conference win.

"Selfishness took over," said junior forward Chaz Briggs as he commented on the season. "Discipline was bad. I don't think some players on the team respected the coaches. The coaches called plays, and sometimes we didn't run them. Until we get over the selfishness, we won't be able to compete in the Big East."

"It's been like a six month butt kicking," departing senior stalwart Chris Moss noted after the game. "I'm glad it's over."

Pitt Box Score Pitt Player of the Game Pitt Photo Gallery

Mountaineers Daily Top Stories