MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Some 41 games into his college career, Eron Harris may never have enjoyed a first half as much as he did Tuesday night.

He scored 18 points while making 4-of-6 shots from 3-point range—and 6-of-10 shots overall—as West Virginia temporarily stunned No. 20 Gonzaga.

“He was lighting us up in the first half,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few.

But Harris attempted only five shots during the second half and settled for a 23-point performance that wasn’t enough to save WVU from a 80-76 loss.

“The ball just didn’t touch my hands,” he said. “I didn’t get the ball in the second half.”

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said Gonzaga placed a heavy emphasis on defending Harris more in the second half, to the extent of leaving other WVU players unguarded.

“They played zone and they chased him. They did a great job of knowing where he was,” Huggins said. “Basically, they said ‘He’s not going to beat us, so some of these other guys are going to have to beat us.'”

Had the other players capitalized and West Virginia won, Harris assuredly would have felt differently. But after watching an upset evaporate, Harris took the loss hard and was frustrated by his lack of opportunities in the second half.

“Everybody’s going to try to take me out of the offense, but that doesn’t mean I just don’t get the ball,” he said. “I guess I’ve got to work harder to get the ball. I guess I’m just going to have to be more assertive.

“There’s things to get people open. With a player like Kobe, what do they do? They screen for Kobe. I’m not saying I’m Kobe or anything, but I felt like I had a good enough (first) half to be an option in the second half. I just felt like I wasn’t an option.”

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  • tw eagle

    Coach Huggins , got a recommendation for you . . . I see that these young men like to take the spotlight , run at the mouth . . . why not make it a rule that no one but the seniors get to speak unless WVU wins . . .

  • juggernaut

    I like Harris but he is starting to sound like a me first player. With his low release he isnt going to be able to come off screens and picks and tear a team apart, he will get most blocked. Also if you are worried about your own stats learn to make the front end of a one and one.

  • William Price

    Harris Henderson should have got the ball more in the last 5 minutes. We should practice more Screens in practice for when we need them at crunch time. Dibo Henderson Harris are the shooters, harris should have got the ball last night regardless of the double team.

  • William Price

    Harris is absolutely right.How many does Devin have to miss before Huggins realizes it is not his night. Call timeout and tell them to set screens for Harris. We were outcoached.

  • squad

    here we go.. you know just maybe..he should be thinking about guarding and keeping Pangos from beating us.. he is, im afraid to say, exceptionally immature at this point..
    I think he has great skills and is a good shooter but its clear he is getting closer and closer to primadonna territory. so, he didn't hear the postgame discussion of his coach. theres guys in southern texas and umass that did the same thing last year....
    great, just what you want from your star player, setting an example for the others.
    I think somebody should tell these guys that they are not actors and that the gametime and postgame drama is a waste of time..
    the hollywood camera is not rolling and you are not actors.. just play as hard as you can and win the freaking game and. the way these guys act as if they were cheated out of something. the world owes you nothing. you are 6-4 now. after last year and what we are trying to climb out of, do you think anyone expects anything but a loss?? so, why act this way when you lose? you act like you are defending NCAA champs, please...roll your sleeves up and end your personal team pity parties..
    its KILLING US..

    • Big Larry


  • Big joe

    Until we can get a big center we will get the same results !

  • Big Larry


    Gonzaga was dogging Eron Harris in the second half preventing him from getting the ball. Good teams do that.

    You can be certain this will show up on every scouting report from here on out.

    Good defenses will shut him down in the second half...However that will free up somebody else who has to step up...

    Other than Henderson. there is no one to step up.

    It is what it is.

    • stevewvu

      It has shown up in every scouting report since game 1 and he still scored 20 against the 20th ranked team in the country....before thanksgiving he scored 27 against Wisconsin

      besides Henderson there is staten who has 17 against Gonzaga...there is also Remi Dibo who has to be accounted for every time he touches the ball

      big larry you're just not a very smart person...its certainly understandable as you are a marshall fan that has not seen their team play in an ncaa tourney in 25 years!!

    • WVU4EVER

      Very well said. You are 100% right

  • dk

    I found it odd the coaches didn't do anything to free Harris up for more shots in the second half considering how well he was shooting the ball. This was huge lost opportunity.

  • Allen

    The freshman players are going to have to step up and start making plays and taking smarter shots. Williams put some bad under the basket shots hoping a foul would be called when he could have kicked the ball back out. Henderson was scoring in the 2nd half but was in foul trouble. Henderson can create his own shot but gets out of control and does not get back on defense when he shoots. So for now Harris and Staten is it and if they don't hit WVU will have problems.

  • dan

    Harris is right he has a better chance of making a bad shot or getting fouled then some of the other players have of making a wide open shot .williams rushed to shots at the end that he should never have taken .he needs to learn at that time of the game to get the ball to the scorers.

  • Joe

    The thing is is that Eron is absolutely right. I do not blame him for being upset. He wants the ball in his hands, just like DeSean did.