West Virginia won a festive Capital Classic Wednesday night, 69-59, after 45 fouls, five technical fouls, one flagrant fouls and five ejections. The Thundering Herd lost Robert Goff to an ejection and probably a game after he appeared to kick WVU’s Juwan Staten late in the game. Their tussle brought four WVU players from the bench and Aaric Murray, Eron Harris, Terry Henderson and Jabarie Hinds were each ejected.
Since the ejections weren’t for fighting, each is eligible to play Saturday against 7-0 Virginia Tech.
Who knows if it was just the opponent or the start of an uptick, but the Mountaineers found something useful last night.
“I think we got under their skin,” Browne said. “We did it in a good way. We did it with defense and our heads stayed in the game.
“He probably got a little frustrated because they haven’t played a team like us on defense. They don’t have a true point guard, so basically when we put pressure on them, they threw the ball away.”
Something old? WVU couldn’t shoot. It was an unusually unproductive, but purposefully inactive night from the 3-point line. The Mountaineers were 1-for-6 — and the make came after Deniz Kilicli came out of a triple-threat stance, drove the lane and passed to Hinds for a 3. The one make was the fewest in a win under Bob Huggins. The six attempts were the fewest since 1999.
WVU was fine with that.
“Every team is different and you’re going to have a different tactic, a different game plan every game,” senior Deniz Kilicli said. “This was their weakness – they didn’t want to guard anybody. So we attacked them inside.”
The Mountaineers were 7-for-14 on layups in the first half, 10-for-20 in the second half and outscored Marshall 36-18 in the paint.