After hearing the strains of his national anthem before his final home game, senior Joe Herber came out smoking in West Virginia's 67-62 win over Pitt.
Herber hit four of his five three-point attempts in the first half to help WVU burst out of the gate early in the emotional win over the Panthers. Herber drained a trio of triples before the fist three minutes of the game had elapsed to help stake the Mountaineers to an early 13-2 lead, then added a fourth to a few minutes later to put WVU on top at 22-12.
Herber's early shooting forced helped open paths for other Mountaineer shooters, who responded with five additional threes for a total of nine in the first half.
Herber finished the game with 16 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 36 minutes of action - a near perfect performance in front of his mother and sister, who took in his final two home games as a Mountaineer.
Kevin Pittsnogle bounced back with a vengeance after his scoreless performance in the first game against the Panthers. Not only did the senior center pour in 26 points, he also played excellent defense on counterpart Aaron Gray. Pittsnogle played much more physically against the Pitt center, and did not allow him to catch the ball in deep as he did in the first encounter. Gray finished with just seven points in the contest.
Were it not for an apparent temporary suspension of rules against travelling, the game would have been a 15-point win for the Mountaineers. Several Pitt baskets were preceded by runs that were reminiscent of Pat White's forays against the Panthers on the football field in November.
Although WVU was again outrebounded handily, it made its pickups count. West Virginia had nine offensive rebounds (against Pitt's 12) and two of those were big second half tip-ins (by Frank Young and Mike Gansey) that helped keep the Panthers at bay. The timing of those two plays could not have been bigger as WVU fought off several Pitt surges in the final 20 minutes.