POG: WVU - Seton Hall

Devin Ebanks continued his return to form with a monster game against the Pirates, preserving the Mountaineers' undefeated season to date and earning player of the game honors in West Virginia's 90-84 overtime win.

Devin Ebanks scored four of WVU's ten points in overtime and came up with big rebounds in key situations to give WVU its first league win. He had four on the defensive end in overtime as West Virginia finally kept the Pirates from the offensive boards, and three of those led to West Virginia scores on the other end of the floor.

Ebanks easily cleared the double-double barrier, pouring in 22 points while snaring a game-high 17 rebounds. Ebanks hit 50% of his tries from the field and added seven assists (also a game-high) against no turnovers. He was a key in helping WVU break Seton Hall's press, and twice pushed the ball up the floor quickly for West Virginia baskets against Pirate pressure. Although he didn't hit a three-pointer, Ebanks scored in a variety of other manners. He hit fadeaway jumpers, drove the lane for floaters and got to the free throw line to manufacture his team high scoring total.

Ebanks played the entire 45 minutes of the contest.


  • Kevin Jones was again quietly spectacular, and could have easily nabbed the award as well. Jones recorded his own double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds, and hit three big three-pointers. The last, a coolly-calculated dagger in overtime, gave West Virginia a seven-point lead and final command of the contest.

    Jones is beginning to show a bit more emotion on the court, but his game is marked by an ability to make his presence felt in a a variety of ways. Certainly, he scores, but his 11 defensive rebounds helped offset Seton Halls big edge on the offensive glass, where they secured 19 balls, and his savvy work on offense, ranging from post up moves to three-point jumpers, makes him a difficult defensive assignment. Were the award to be given today, it would be a tough call between Jones and Da'Sean Butler for team MVP.

  • Free throws were a key factor for both teams. West Virginia held the clear edge overall, making 24 of 33 chances, while the Pirates converted just 16 of the same number. WVU, however, had two critical misfires in the final minute of regulation, when both Da'Sean Butler and Ebanks missed the front end of one-and-one chances. Those misses might as well be counted as 0-2s in the stat sheet, as the second bonus attempt that isn't earned is the same as a miss. WVU did manage to right the ship after that, making seven of its final eight chances at the line, but that didn't help head coach Bob Huggins' view of the situation afterward.

    "It's a huge concern," he noted. "Our two guys missed the front ends of one-and-ones. If we make those, then it really doesn't matter."

    Particularly abysmal for the Pirate was Herb Pope, who clanked nine of his ten tries at the line. None of them were close, either, as the Pittsburgh native left several dents in the back of the Prudential Center rims. With the Pirates getting an incredible 82 shots at the hoop, only the 17 misses at the line kept them from winning the game in regulation.

  • Huggins actually thought West Virginia did a good defensive job against Jeremy Hazell, who poured in 41 points. It required 33 shots to do so, and Hazell was a less than stellar 4-19 from three-point range. However, his final two attempts in regulation were true, allowing the Pirates to force overtime. No other Seton Hall player had more than nine shot attempts.

    "I thought we did a pretty good job defending him and he still got 41," Huggins noted. "He makes shots and that's why he takes them. I don't know if there's anyone in our league that can take shots as quick as he does. No one else is making those shots in our league, no way."

    Although Hazell lit up the scoreboard, a few more judicious decisions at other points in the game might have allowed the Pirates to knock the Mountaineers from the ranks of the unbeaten. Despite playing 43 minutes, he had no assists or steals.

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