WVU Shows Little Defense in Loss To Billikens

The Mountaineers played their worst game of the season in getting hammered by St. Louis on the road.

The Mountaineers offered little defensive resistance as St. Louis went over, around and through West Virginia on their way to a 75-45 romp on Saturday.

Offensively, WVU (8-3) wasn't much better, as Drew Schifino provided the only consistent scoring threat for the visitors with 22 points. Schifino had WVU did little to try to get the ball to Schifino while the game was still in doubt however, as several Mountaineers launched hurried shots rather than working the ball to the hot hand.

"It was such a mismatch in experience," head coach John Beilein said following the loss. "They were toying with us a little bit. They play great defense. We're still at a stage where our defense is still a product of our offense, instead of the other way around. We didn't have any answers for them defensively."

West Virginia dug themselves a huge hole in the first half as the Billikens (6-5) penetrated the Mountaineer zone time and again for easy hoops. WVU trailed by 12 at intermission, 30-18. Only three Montaineers, Drew Schifino, Josh Yeager and Patrick Beilein, scored in the first half for WVU.

St. Louis scored 18 of their 30 first half tallies from point blank range against the depleted WVU defense, which obviously suffered from the absence of Tyrone Sally, who saw only a few minutes of action after battling the flu over the past few days. Freshman walkon Nick Patella also did not play after oversleeping and missing the morning shootaround.

The second half consisted merely of twenty minutes of playing out the string, as the Mountaineers could draw no closer than ten points in the closing period. St. Louis had just eight turnovers in the contest, and never gave WVU a chance to establish a run to cut into the lead.

WVU also drew their first technical fouls of the season, both apparently out of frustration. Head coach John Beilein was whistled for a T after protesting a play where his son was knocked to the floor on a shot attempt that drew no call. Later, Drew Schifino was part of a double technical when he exchanged verbal barbs with the St. Louis bench.

"We're just not realy physical, and we don't respond well to physical play," Beilein said of the sometimes hockeylike game.

Patrick Beilein added eight points to the anemic Mountaineer scoring effort.

West Virginia opens Big East play with a Tuesday night home game against Miami at the WVU Coliseum.

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