Two big second half three-pointers and typical steady playmaking earn J.D. Collins our player of the game award.
Collins scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half to help West Virginia break a three-game losing streak in its 68-64 win over Louisville. Included in the total were two important three-pointers, which comprised two-thirds of the Mountaineers' second half total. The second one gave WVU an eight point lead with just under seven minutes to play and put it in the drivers' seat down the stretch.
Collins didn't just shoot, however. His usual outstanding play in directing the WVU offense was again evident, as he recorded three assists against just one turnover in 30 minutes of action. He also snagged five big rebounds, second only to Mike Gansey's six, to help WVU keep the rebounding margin to a respectable minus eight on the afternoon.
West Virginia's ability to get the ball inside when its outside shots weren't falling was a key int he second half. WVU made just three three-pointers in the final 20 minutes, yet outscored the Cardinals by four points to get the win. WVU was 8-15 from two-point range in the second half.
Kevin Pittsnogle spearheaded the inside attack, making all nine of his shots from inside the arc. Included in the total were two big dunks, including a second half slam the likes of which has never been seen from the big man before. On the play, Pittsnogle took a pass on the right baseline and soared to the hoop, dunking over Louisville's Juan Palacios.
West Virginia's energy after the four day break was obviously higher. The Mountaineer defense recorded several deflections and steals in the early going, and as a result the Cardinals were unable to get much offensive rhythm going. Although star guard Taquan Dean and Palacios were able to score, UL was not able to dominate inside the way Connecticut and Syracuse did in previous games.