POG: West Virginia - Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- West Virginia fought back, but ultimately could not dig itself completely out of a massive hole in a 69-63 loss to the University of Louisville here on Saturday afternoon.

Virtually anything and everything that could go wrong did for West Virginia over the final 12 minutes of the first half. Once the Mountaineers collected themselves against U of L's pressure defense, though, they were able to get back into the game.

As usual, WVU rode on the broad shoulders of junior forward Da'Sean Butler, who had to expand his role even more than usual against the Cardinals. Butler finished with a game-high 23 points in 37 minutes of play.

Of Butler's 23 points, 19 came in the second half as the Mountaineers outscored Louisville by 14 over the final 20 minutes of play. Butler also finished with eight rebounds and two steals, though he did turn the ball over five times.


  • Devin Ebanks had one of his best games of the season. With freshman point guard Darryl Bryant struggling mightily against the U of L press, Ebanks was called upon to assist Butler and senior guard Alex Ruoff in handling the ball.

    For the game, the Long Island City, N.Y. native finished with a career-high 14 points, and also added six rebounds and three steals while turning the ball over just once against the aforementioned pressure.

  • As good as the second half was for West Virginia, the first half was nothing short of a disaster. Louisville forced 14 first-half turnovers, with WVU struggling to get the ball past the timeline against the 2-2-1 full-court alignment of Rick Pitino's team.

    The Mountaineers did manage to calm themselves at the break, and came out with a lot more composure in the second half. In the final frame, West Virginia turned the ball over just three times.

  • When WVU did manage to get the ball across mid-court in the first half, the Cardinals did a great job of making sure it didn't go in the basket. Louisville blocked seven West Virginia shot attempts in the first half, with Earl Clark and Terrence Jennings swiping two apiece.

    To their credit, though, the Mountaineers weren't shy abotu continuing to attack the hoop in the second half. The difference was that they did so with a lot more strength. Instead of laying the ball up soft, WVU went to the hoop with a purpose in the final frame.

  • BlueGoldNews Top Stories