BlueGoldNews.com selects the outstanding player and noteworthy performances from the West Virginia - Marshall game
For the first time in memory, the staff of BlueGoldNews.com had no choice but to select a game participant other than a Mountaineer player as the site's Player of the Game.
Yet that fact alone does not begin to describe the dominating performance put on by official Curtis Shaw during Wednesday night's 66-64 West Virginia victory over Marshall in the annual Capital Classic. Shaw, a longtime staple of the Big East and other major conferences, found his whistle early, and kept on tweeting from start to finish as the teams combined for 52 fouls on the night. By comparison, the teams combined for 42 made field goals.
While Shaw was not a one man crew -- he was joined by Mike Kitts and Paul Janssen -- there was no question who was in charge of the Civic Center floor on Wednesday night. A capacity crowd of 12,580 filled the rafters, only unbeknownst to Shaw they were there to watch a basketball game and not him.
Instead, they witnessed a one-of-a-kind performance, leaving the staff of BlueGoldNews.com no other choice but to break tradition on what turned out to be a historic night in Charleston.
Sophomore forward Da'Sean Butler hit the game-winning shot with less than six seconds remaining in regulation. Butler was able to take his man off the dribble, and got excellent elevation on his foul line jumper, which left his pure release and splashed softly through the net to give the Mountaineers an advantage. Butler finished with 18 points and six rebounds, but was just five of 13 from the foul line in the win.
Of course Butler wasn't the only Mountaineer to struggle from the charity stripe. As a team, West Virginia shot an ice-cold 11-29 from the line, allowing the Thundering Herd back into the game. Marshall never led, but did erase a 14-point Mountaineer advantage in the second half as the Capital Classic once again went down to the wire.
Junior guard/forward Alex Ruoff finished with a double-double of 11 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Ruoff did not have his best night from the field, going just four of eight, but was able to make plays in other ways to help the Mountaineers. As a team, West Virginia dominated the Thundering Herd to a tune of 45-38. That total for the Mountaineers includes an impressive 17 offensive boards.