Big Off The Bench

Jamie Smalligan's substitution stints for foul-plagued Rob Summers were key in West Virginia's 77-63 win over the Herd.

Smalligan came off the bench to score five points and grab five rebounds in 13 minutes of first half action, and finished with seven points, nine rebounds and two assists as West Virginia roared back for the win. Although WVU scored 56 points in the second half to leave the Herd more ragged than its mascot's costume, it was Smalligan's five points of his team's meager 21 in the first half that may have been the most important.

Trialing by as many as 13 points in the opening half, Smalligan helped WVU cut the lead by first draining a three to cut the lead to six. Smalligan then forced what should have been a Herd turnover on the defensive end, but a bad call gave the ball out of bounds to the Herd. When Smalligan reacted to the call with an "Awwww", (he said afterward that he did not curse or vocalize any words), quick trigger referee Curtis Shaw hit him with a technical foul.

That seemed to only spur Smalligan to greater heights, who responded by grabbing a big defensive rebound on MU's possession. On the offensive end, he faked a three pointer and drove by the stunned Marshall defense for a resounding dunk that brought the lead down to five. He completed the sequence by grabbing another board on the defensive end on MU's next possession.

Listen as Smalligan describes playing in his first WVU-MU game, and discusses the technical and WVU's improved second half play.


BlueGoldNews Top Stories