POG: West Virginia - Marquette

In WVU's 75-53 loss to Marquette, a game highlighted by lackluster effort and gobs of poor decisions, one player was the lone bright spot for West Virginia.

Freshman forward Kevin Jones provided West Virginia with its only spark of the second half, an played with a drive that few of his teammates matched. Entering the game after the Mountaineers yielded two offense rebounds to the Golden Eagles on their opening second half possession, Jones tipped the next defensive board to teammate Alex Ruoff. On WVU's next defensive trip, Jones defended nicely, boxed out his man and grabbed another board.

On the afternoon, Jones had four points and six rebounds in 19 minutes of action. While those numbers weren't eye-popping, they stood out due to the manner in which they were produced. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly enough to offset West Virginia's worst performance of the season.


NET BURNERS

  • If the Mountaineers can't figure out how to stay out of foul trouble, they will be playing in the NIT (assuming Bob Huggins allows it). Once again, Da'Sean Butler and Truck Bryant were saddled with foul trouble. Bryant had two silly charging fouls and played less than three minutes in the opening half. That apparently got into the freshman's head, as he failed to even hit the rim on three second half shot attempts, and finished with no points, one assist and four turnovers.

    Butler scored 16 points in the opening 20 minutes with two fouls, but killed himself with two more silly infractions in the first 3:30 of the second half. Butler returned with just under eight minutes to play, and immediately capped his day with a push off on a rebound attempt that sent him right back to the bench.

  • West Virginia was totally outworked on the boards -- the best descriptive word that comes to mind is "soft". Marquette grabbed nine offensive rebounds in the first half and continually took the ball right out of the hands of Mountaineers on the glass. WVU failed to respond, and the Golden Eagles' second chances were a big part of the final margin.

    While WVU did hold a rebounding advantage in the first half, that stat was misleading. Cold shooting (33%) by the home team, coupled with 50% shooting for West Virginia, meant fewer defensive chances for Marquette. In the end, West Virginia showed little spark, other than that of Jones, and surrendered the ball meekly on multiple occasions.

  • West Virginia trailed by just three points at 51-48 with 7:51 to go before it folded its tent as Da'Sean Butler fouled out. In the worst display of intensity and effort it has shown under Huggins, the Mountaineers were outscored by the margin of 19-3, with many of those points coming in transition and on uncontested shots. By the time the barrage was over Marquette was "having fun" in the words of Bob Huggins, while the Mountaineers were hanging their heads.

    Huggins had a simple solution for all the problems, however.

    "Alex has to make some shots, Da'Sean has to stay in the game and we have to score the ball. We're not going to win scoring 53 points."


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