Tier IV sneaked a peak inside tonight, which means you are looking live at the Coliseum mere hours before No. 1/2 Kansas tries to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 18 games against WVU, which hasn’t won back-to-back games since the end of 2012.
WVU marketing is going all out for this tonight and the seats are covered with reminders of the color you are to wear if the Mountaineers are to repeat their visual heroics from the football season.
Uh, easier said than done. This is a team that’s won 35 of its past 40 games, 9 of 11 on the road and 17 of 22 in road/neutral games. This foolish game, oh, it’s still the same …
Henderson had a great look at a 3 with 2:16 to go and missed long. McLemore, who’s been seemingly quiet, makes 1 of 2 free throws and has 12 points, actually.
Final media timeout and Kansas is up 57-50. To help you through, here’s Red Panda from earlier tonight.
Starting to see a little attrition here, or at least the benefits of having it come a little easier. That 3 from Releford makes it 55-46 and sends WVU into another timeout. We’ll have one more at the next whistle.
Kilicli, Nique and Noreen have four fouls, Murray has three. Withey might get a workout down low soon.
Henderson for Harris and one of those two have to contribute.
Fans aren’t pleased with the calls, but by now, six games in, the officials will let you connect in the post but won’t allow anything on the perimeter. That’s their game.
… and it’s a 2 as the officials review and get it right. It looked like a 2 from where I sit.
And Staten’s first 3 of the YEAR makes it 48-47. He was 0-for-7.
Harris misses a quick 3, but gets it back by forcing a five seconds call. Hmmm.
This one’s fun, finally. Competitive and very well played with a many of one team’s deficiencies the result of something the other team has done.
Eron Harris has to get something going soon, though. He’s itchy.
Tom O’Neill would like you to know he’s working tonight.
Four on Nique, who tainted a pretty nice night with a turnover and a blocking foul. Here comes Deniz…
And that might be your moment there. A play is run for Murray and he makes a 3 and Kansas turns it over and the very persistent Gary Browne takes it in for a layup as KU HAS TO call a timeout up just 42-40.
Interesting time here. It’s 42-35 and nobody seems particularly panicked, which isn’t bad for either side. Eventually, you’d think either WVU’s persistence or KU’s steadfastness would take over, if even just a little.
Aaaaand you’re welcome.
Jim Clements, front and center in the student section, doing the YMCA dance.
Really, really big possession there. Nique gets two offensive rebounds and a Murray 3 makes it 40-33.
Huggins riding the hot hand and keeps Murray in to start the second half. Then again, he’s like the only big in this game who wasn’t in some variety of foul trouble in the first half.
A little dusty in the Coliseum. So good.
Red Panda. Out.
Circle it! Terrible Kansas pass is stolen by Hinds, who, again, hit the passing lane when Kansas used a screen, and then beat the buzzer with an end-to-end layup.
Hinds lost his head there. WVU had a chance for the final shot and now Self calls a timeout to set up something likable with 22.6 seconds to go.
Kansas is 10-for-19 at the foul line. That’s helping WVU considerably.
How did Gary Browne miss that pass?
WVU doing well to get and to guess into passing lanes. Players fire out after just about every screen.
Nique and Noreen with three fouls and that means Deniz in the final 2:56 in a 34-25 game.
Just a little bedlam now as Murray punches in another steal by going at Withey for a basket. Four baskets for WVU in 1:52. There were just three in the first 14:40.
…an Aaron Brown pump fake is the outcome. It doesn’t end well.
Life? Life! A Murray steal and dunk precedes a KU turnover and it’s 30-20 with the Coliseum percolating. A 3 is intriguing…
One of the best Kilicli moments ever.
WVU is on about a shot-a-minute pace here, which is exactly what can’t happen. No one gets to 60 against Kansas. Some struggle to get to 50.
That said, KU is rolling and hard to be and all that, but Kansas doesn’t really smoke people and the splits say the team has had some iffy offensive games the past few weeks.
Noreen with two fouls and that is big for defense and, believe it or not, scoring.
And Withey, with 10 points and considerable presence, limps off the floor.
At some point in the past 36 hours, Bill Self told Kansas it can beat WVU up the floor and get early offense. KU has an advantage almost every single time, even after WVU makes.
Well, what do you know, a turnover on an inbound, a dumb play and a runout dunk for Kansas.
Honestly, save two or three shaky moments with the ball that led to turnovers, the Mountaineers haven’t played poorly. They left shooters open early and Kansas can shoot. That’s stopped. Withey made, frankly, a lucky shot. It’s been a lot of misses since, though.
It’s 16-7 and WVU is kind of chipping away, neither terribly effective or quick, but still taking swings.
Kilicl scores at 12:36 and it’s 16-4!
Good news is WVU is 0-for-5. Bad news is it’s a zero and it’s 6:33 into the game.
KU threw a haymaker there. A lob pass would have been a dunk for Withey, but they hunted a 3-pointer and missed everything. It’s still 12-2.
And 5:11 in, WVU trails by double figures and there’s a clear difference in talent in fluidity between Withey and whomever is guarding him.
And McLemore picked up an offensive foul and has to sit with two at the 15:24 mark. That’s their best player.
WVU certainly knows of Withey, but is not running from him. It’s 10-2 and I wouldn’t say WVU has played bad. A little too antsy, though. Huggins calls a timeout at 15:58 to discuss.
Rutledge starting is odd because he couldn’t even get in Saturday.
WVU sold lots of tickets and was close to a sell out. That said, note the open seats and remember students used to sit there before they were moved.
Juwan Staten back in the starting five with Browne, Harris, Nique and Deniz.
Hard as this may be to believe, it is true: WVU has lost eight in a row to ranked teams.
Haven’t seen nearly enough Zelton Steed, either.
John Higgins, Terry Oglesby and Tom O’Neill are your officials tonight. Higgins and Oglesby have seen WVU a few times now. O’Neill is, I believe, new to WVU.
I’m also told Curtis Shaw is here.
No promises about the Internet tonight, either.
So the students have a Musberger cut out head and a Katherine Webb cutout head. Musberger posed for a picture with the Webb cutout.
A lot of cut out big heads in the crowd tonight. There’s a good Gary Browne and a good Deniz Kilicli one, but be on the lookout for Te’o and Oprah — and the students who have them aren’t sitting anywhere near one another.
White unis for WVU, but that’s not stopping Jabarie Hinds from wearing the gold compression shirt.
Might he have helped? Well, Kansas opponents shoot only slightly better from 2-point range than they do from 3-point range — and they’re not shooting very well form deep.
No Matt Humphrey. He was in sweats in the tunnel far away from his teammates as they warmed up on the floor. He’s now in the back, presumably getting more treatment.
Who had 7:50 p.m. in the “When do the profane chanted directed at Kansas start?” Because that would be a push.
Remeinder: TFGD. Tell the world. Please.
Those are WVU students, by the way. They’ve been vetted. And harassed. There are a few employees who are bothered by this and some who can’t remember anything like it.
Front row, WVU student section. Onions!
Not to deify Kansas tonight, for I’m sure you are aware of their skill and tradition, but this is something else: Eight straight Big 12 regular season titles. That hasn’t happened in a major conference since UCLA — THAT UCLA — won 13 in a row from 1967-79.
This is worth highlighting, four months later, but the stripe the stadium thing was pretty cool for the Baylor football game (http://blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu/2012/10/02/the-good-and-the-bad-of-wvu-v-baylor/).
Aftwerward, I wrote:
“The striping thing worked and I think it accomplished something: It united a majority of the 60,012 with a cause. They were all dressed appropriately to make the gimmick click and they went from merely being there to being there with a purpose. That was cool and it really was worth something. I have to think that mattered throughout that game.”
And let’s be honest: WVU is going to need all the help it can get tonight.
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