MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Forget those trap game worries.

West Virginia showed no hangover from its loss to No. 10 Wisconsin—and refused to look ahead to Thursday’s game at Missouri—by building a 27-point halftime lead on Loyola-Maryland and coasting to a 96-47 victory at the Coliseum.

“We know that we had no other choice but to come out and compete, and we did that,” said Remi Dibo, who scored a game-high 19 points off the bench. “They only lost by 10 (at UConn), so we thought we had a good team to play against today.”

Perhaps West Virginia (6-2) caught the Greyhounds (4-2) on an off night, but Monday’s game was a runaway after WVU jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes. Dibo led the Mountaineers to a 46-15 edge in bench scoring. The French forward made 5-of-7 shots from 3-point range—several of them uncontested—even though Loyola’s staff emphasized the need to defend the perimeter.

Boxscore: WVU 96, Loyola 47

“You look at the scouting report and you know he’s a shooter,” said Greyhounds coach G.G. Smith. “But we just lost him in transition and he got way too many open looks.”

West Virginia made 13-of-22 from 3-point range, including 2-of-2 by Terry Henderson (16 points) and 3-of-4 by Nate Adrian (11 points). Kevin Noreen made his only long-distance jumper and shot 5-of-5 on his way to 13 points. Barely anyone noticed that the team’s top threats, Eron Harris and Juwan Staten, combining to shoot 6-of-23.

“We scored 96 points and Eron Harris wasn’t very good and Juwan didn’t score near as well as he’s been scoring,” said coach Bob Huggins. “It’s nice to be able to win like that without those two having some of their better games.”

Though Staten scored a season-low four points (14 below his average), the point guard hustled into the lane to grab a game-best 10 rebounds—part of West Virginia’s unbelievable 62-22 edge on the boards.

“When you get beat 62-22 on the boards it is embarrassing,” Smith said. “Our big men were slow to the ball. They beat us to every ball. They were by far the toughest and best rebounding team we will play this year.”

Loyola’s first-year coach may not have realized West Virginia out-rebounded only two of its previous seven opponents. For this game, at least, the Mountaineers were dominant on the glass as Adrian (nine rebounds), Noreen (eight) Devin Williams (seven), Harris (seven) and Brandon Watkins (six) were active on every missed shot.

There were plenty of those for Loyola, which made 33 percent from the floor (19-of-56) and 4-of-17 from deep. Dylon Cormier, the nation’s No. 2 scorer at 28.4 per game, was held to 11 points under close hounding from WVU’s Harris.

“He is averaging 28 points a game and took just seven shots in 32 minutes of play,” Smith said. “He needs to shoot the ball more.”


HARRIS COOLS OFF
WVU led 47-20 despite its leading scorer going 1-of-8 shooting in the first half. He made two 3-pointers after intermission and wound up 4-of-13 overall for 14 points.

“I used to get frustrated and when I started to miss shots and I’d put my head down,” Harris said. “But now I try to smile. I know what type of shooter I am and I know that people have bad nights. I just wanted to keep shooting until it makes.”

FREE THROWS FALLING
After making only 62 percent of its free throws this season—and just 6-of-14 in a 70-63 loss to Wisconsin—West Virginia sank 19-of-22 against Loyola. That included a string of 13 straight to open the game.

HUGGINS CLIMBS RANKS
After win No. 729 on Monday, Huggins stands tied for 16th all-time with Norm Stewart and Jerry Tarkanian.

“I’ve got great respect for Coach Stewart,” he said. “The job that he did at Missouri is just phenomenal. They have everything they have there to a large degree because of Norm Stewart. Their arena is absolutely state-of-the-art. It is one heck of a place and they have a great following.

“Tark has been like a grandfather or an uncle to me. When I was just a young coach, he kind of took me under his wing. He has been absolutely phenomenal to me, and has given me a lot of advice—both X’s and O-wise and about our business in general.”

EMPTY SEATS
Only 4,692 fans turned out for Monday night’s game, supplanting the Nov. 23 win over Presbyterian (5,067) as the smallest home crowd of the Huggins era.

“We’ve got great fans—there’s just 4,000 of them, that’s all,” Huggins said. “A lot of people have 16,000 of them. I’m happy with the people that came.”

Even with a team averaging better than 85 points per game, the atmosphere in the Coliseum has been lacking. Blame the holidays or a few non-descript opponents, but WVU fans have been slow to return after last season’s 13-19 record.

“I keep hearing this team’s exciting,” Huggins said. “It must not be exciting enough.”


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Comments

  • squad

    let me just say that I have no use for poseur wvu fans who don't show up for the games for whatever reason they can invent this week. let me say it straight. we have good team this year and people ought to get their sorry asses into the seats. one bad year and now, this. boy that speaks volumes about what loser fans we have. wvu fans should be ashamed of their lack of attendance this year. there's absolutely no excuse for it and I don't want to even hear it. shut up and go.

    • Rick S.

      Squad, were you at the game last night?

    • wes2003

      People that live in Charleston, Parkersburg, Wheeling, etc and work 9-5 jobs might not be able to devote 4-6 hours drive time to make it to Morgantown for a Tuesday, 7PM tip against the Loyolas of the world.

      If WVU was located in Charleston, there would 10K plus at every game.

  • Jay

    William? William?

    Bueller? Bueller?

  • blugldmn

    Huggs and Luck need to decide which is more important selling tickets well in advance to corporations or putting fans in the coliseum seats...

  • tw eagle

    it certainly is different from last year . . .

    BUT , coach Huggins , you need a couple of doctors to examine these Mountaineers . . .

    there are some players who can bomb from almost mid-court , and then you got a few
    players who can't lay it in from 3 feet . . .

    do these guys need a psycho doctor , or an
    eye doctor ?

    if you're afraid of getting stuffed when inside ,
    and you alter your shot - USE THE GLASS .

  • 4WVUinKY

    That's what I'm talkin' bout! These boys are awesome. Out of state now but wish I could attend the games. Best of guys...stay focused and prove the naysayers wrong! Go eers!

  • polarbear

    Black out the games in Morgantown unless its sold out, and the place will be packed. Back in the 80's if you wanted to see a game you had to go.

  • wvrefugee

    It's called re-seating Allan! All those empty seats are "sold" to so-called "big MAC donors" but 90% live so far away they can only make weekend games, maybe. I predicted this when Luck started this process. Mid-week games, even against a Kansas team, will not be packed because of this. Luck got his money......where are the fans??? Maybe they were at the FB game.....no that's not it! Ask Luck those tough questions Allan!

    • GoEers

      Do you have proof that 90% of the so called big donors live so far away?

      In what cities or states do they all live in? I am sure that you have a list ,or are you just another one of those jealous Marshall trolls that reads an entire article about WVU in order to find something neagative to post about?

    • Aaron

      If that's the case then why isn't Huggins pushing Luck to have those "MAC Donors" donate their tickets to locals who would otherwise attend.


      Maybe it's a simple as West Virginia fans are fickle fare weather fans who only support the teams and University when things are going good?

      • Rick S.

        Aaron, were you at the game last night?

        • Aaron

          No, I was not. I live in Putnam County at the current time so I only get to weekend games.

          What about you? Were you at the game Rick?

  • Steve

    Hey Dana, can you hear Huggy now? This is how you turn around a team.

  • D McKeever

    WVU fans are crybabies. They only show up for big games. Not true fans.

    • Mickey

      Hittin the nail on da head...

    • Rick S.

      D McKeever, were you at the game last night?

    • tw eagle

      well , you're gonna have a lot of long term fans mad at being displaced to accommodate the rich "opera fans" . . . reminds me of when I finished my military duty in '70 . . .came home in late September and expected to go a Mountaineer game . . . no luck(sic) , pop couldn't afford to spend the extorted dollars needed to keep buying the tickets . . .mac dollars or something like that . . .nah, if Luck wants to treat the Mountaineer fans to the
      "pro" treatment , he 'll find empty seats in all venues . . .

  • Big Larry

    After last year's Train Wreck, it will take a while to win back the fans.

    But then again, maybe they are sending a message?

    • tw eagle

      maybe WVU tubed last year on purpose , so that there would be less squabbling about the reseating plan . . .if this reseating plan hasn't chased away enough fans , they'll probably institute a " mac bond" . . . to purchase better tickets in any venue at WVU , you will have to buy a " mac bond " for each seat . . .and they'll price the bond where it will be inaccessible to at least 90% of the population
      of West Virginia . . .

      my guess , Huggins got that 1/2 mil raise so he'd go along with the losing season . . .

  • Ducks In A Row

    Then suddenly, just like that, we have moxie in the paint, dominate the boards and sink free throws. Yep, I'd say Hugg's has fixed it. Great game.

  • Coalwiz

    Gonzaga will bring out more fans.....but the late tipoff will keep it from being a 10K+ crowd. The fans are excited about this team and will show for the conference games.

  • RJ

    Coliseum is great -- but location is terrible for students.

    • Rick S.

      Why is the location terrible for students?

      • tw eagle

        why isn't there a spur line for the PRT that will service the coliseum , Dlesk ,
        and the other facilities located in that area ? to bypass the arboretum , make the exchange on top of law school hill and bring it down into the sport complex . . .

        • Rick S.

          Having the PRT go right to the athletic facilities would be nice. When I was a student at WVU in the 1990's, I took the PRT to Engineering and then walked to the Coliseum from there. It is not a far walk.

          • tw eagle

            a nice walk for students , but not desirable for children or ladies on
            cool, breezy, and damp nights . . .

  • Say What?

    Christmas is coming. A lot if people aren't going to spend the coin to watch us play Loyola from Maryland.

    • nice excuse

      Tickets were 10 dollars. Basketball is always played around the holidays. And I'm pretty sure we are just now setting low attendance records for the Huggins era. Truth is we have a lot of band Wagon fans.

    • Jeremy

      It was $10 to get in?!? Is that a lot of "coin"?

      • Big Larry

        You mean people actually pay money to watch these games?

        • GoEers

          They sure do Big Larry, but they wouldn't pay to watch a team that loses to Morehead St., Stephen F. Austin, and Eastern Tennessee State University. Those are all the teams that your beloved Herd have lost to this season alone. You're a pathetic Marshall fan Big Larry...always have been and always will be.

          • Vbins

            Amen. Crawl back under a bridge.

          • Big Larry

            I wouldn't watch a Marshall Basketball game if it was free...

            and didn't they cancel basketball down there a couple years ago?

        • Carl White

          Why yes they do douche bottle.

      • tw eagle

        bleacher seats in the Field House to see Hot Rod and Jerry were $1 , a lot of coin then . . . and there were never many available . . . sneaking in was problematic , Andy , small and quick could duck the turnstile and run , and then hit the fire door for the rest of us at the south end of the balcony level seats . . .

  • mark

    Just got back from the game and enjoyed it very much. Great to see the ball actually going through the basket. Very disappointed in the crowd. Season ticket holders in lower level noticeably absent and student turnout is terrible. This team deserves better.

    • Greg

      Agree.

    • Dave in Motown

      Why would anyone want to pay out the nose to watch a game when the coach is such a jerk. “We've got great fans—there's just 4,000 of them, that's all. A lot of people have 16,000.” You'd never hear any of the top coaches bash the people that pay his salary.

      • Quit Complaining

        Truth hurts Dave! You're entitled to your pathetic excuse to not go the games. Tickets were 10 bucks tonight at the gate. Also, look at some quotes earlier in the year from Nick Saban about Alabama fans not staying in the stadium.

      • Jeremy

        His point exactly! Ur an idiot of course

        • can you read?

          What are you talking about? You're the idiot!

      • Charles

        10 bucks is paying out the nose???? And mountaineer fans want to run their mouths like an elite program but don't back it up. That's the point.

      • Michael

        This can be partially blamed on our football team and Dana Holgerson. The fans will show very soon but many just need a break after the pathetic season we just witnessed. Hope the BBall team continues to get better becasue they do look much improved from last year. Our football coach should watch what Huggs does year to year.

      • Rick S.

        Dave, Coach Huggins seems to bash everybody -- players, game officials, fans, etc. Bashing his players might inspire (scare) them to play better. Bashing the game officials might influence them to make more calls in WVU's favor. Bashing the fans is probably not the best marketing strategy. But it is just Coach Huggins' nature to bully people, and over the course of his career it has worked out very well for him.

      • Jay

        Actually, Dave, we hear plenty of top coaches across all college sports call out fans for not attending or leaving games early. Just this season, in fact, Nick Saban called out Alabama football fans for leaving early. It's quite common.

        • stevewvu

          Jay you will have to excuse some of these people on here. They live in a box and only read one article about WVU athletics. They don't like people who actually use facts to make points.

      • DWM

        Huggins' beef, and the point of his critique, is about how Mountaineer fans always want to go on about how good of fans they are, when in fact we are just fair weather fans that show up when the team is good or when there is a good opposing team and national tv exposure involved.

        Look at his quote, "We've got great fans, just 4000 of them". If we didn't have a bunch of West Virginia fans running around telling everyone what great fans we are, he wouldn't have used the needle. Face it, we are fair weather fans.

      • Aaron

        I thought his comments were spot on. Attendance has been are record lows this year on nights when tickets were below normal prices. If you truly support the Mountaineers and have a means and the time to attend, you go to the game regardless of the opponent.