MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Returning from the Cancun Challenge with a runners-up trophy after a 70-63 loss to No. 10 Wisconsin didn’t satisfy West Virginia coach Bob Huggins.
“I really honestly thought we could win it,” he said.
WVU (5-2) made 23 field goals to Wisconsin’s 22 only to see the Badgers exploit a decisive edge at the foul line—making 15-of-17 to counter West Virginia’s 6-of-16.
“I would never imagine as well as we shoot the ball that we couldn’t make free throws,” Huggins said Sunday before his team practiced at the Coliseum.
With Eron Harris pouring in 27 points on 7-of-11 shooting from 3-point range, the Mountaineers twice had chances late to make it a one-possession game against Wisconsin.
“We were within four points twice and we didn’t execute,” Harris said. “(Wisconsin) went down and hit big shots because they executed. They had more veterans on the floor that have played in big games.
Wedged between the Wisconsin loss and Thursday’s marquee game at Missouri sits Monday night’s home matchup against Loyola-Maryland, a newcomer to the Patriot League.
Averaging a team-high 21.1 points per game, Harris has been aggressive in his sophomore season—not only as a scorer but also with his off-the-court assertions. He told teammates to overcome the timidity they showed in tight situations against Wisconsin.
“They’re a top-10 team because they hit big shots down the stretch, got big stops and got the win,” Harris said. “But to me, we’re a top-10 team too.”