Mike Gansey's valiant effort was more than enough to earn Player of the Game honors on Saturday.
Gansey finished with a game-high 25 points in West Virginia's 81-75 loss to top-ranked Connecticut. The senior forward was 10-13 from the field, and connected on five of his six shots from behind the three-point arc.
Gansey shredded the Huskies defense through the first 22 minutes of the game for 20 points, but over the last 18 minutes of action managed just five points.
Kevin Pittsnogle was the obvious target of the Connecticut defensive gameplan in the first half. The senior from Martinsburg was shadowed all over the court by either Hilton Armstrong or Josh Boone during the first half. When Gansey was shut down though, Kevin stepped up. He finished with 15 points and four steals, and hit several big shots down the stretch.
Joe Herber deserves recognition for his 14 point performance. Joe shot 5-7, but only played 19 minutes before fouling out late in the game. his 14 points were good enough to push him over the 1,000 point plateau for his career. That milestone led to this quip from Herber in the press room after the game.
"I've played the most minutes (in school history), so I probably should have scored 1,000 points by now."
Finally, the crowd at the Coliseum was electric from start to finish. The announced attendance of 14,683 was probably a bit modest as every seat was filled, and the aisles of the student section were non-existant. Four hours prior to tip there were thousands of students already in line, including approximately 15 tents that had been pitched as early as 9:00 Friday night. Now if this enthusiasm could be around every game, it'd really be something.