Big shots down the stretch from our player of the game vaulted the Mountaineers to victory over Notre Dame.
Just how big was Kevin Pittsnogle? Every bit as big as his 6'11" frame, and then some. The senior center put the Mountaineers on his back offensively, finishing with 22 points on 8-15 shooting.
At one point in the second half, KP shot-faked Irish center Torin Francis into the air, drove to the rack, and laid the ball in with ease. He then calmly hit a three on the next possession over a befuddled Francis, and capped off his run of seven consecutive Mountaineer points with a layup to put the Mountaineers up three with 2:44 remaining.
As big as Pittsnogle was offensively down the stretch, Frank Young was just as big on the defensive end. The junior forward was credited with two blocks for the game, but realistically probably had four or five. None was bigger than his rejection of a Russell Carter layup attempt with 4:35 remaining. Had Carter converted, the Irish would have led the game by a point. As it turned out, Frank's block led to Pittsnogle's clutch three at the other end.
The second net burner tonight goes to Rob Summers. The Penn State transfer only played two minutes, but was instant energy off the Mountaineer bench in the first half. He grabbed a couple of rebounds, deflected a pass, and converted a layup in his limited time before leaving to a well-deserved round of applause from the Mountaineer faithful.
A trio of stats earn our final net burner from this game. First, the Mountaineers outscored the Irish in the paint by a 20-16 advantage. Second, the Mountaineer bench contributed 16 points tonight, led by Patrick Beilein's nine. And finally, WVU forced 15 turnovers which led to 27 Mountaineer points. Those three stats are a big part of why the Mountaineers improved to 7-0 in the Big East.