MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It was Family Day inside the Coliseum, which meant cheap hot dogs and popcorn and a larger crowd than one would expect to see West Virginia face the last-place team in the Big 12.

The Mountaineers (16-13, 7-8) entered as 14-point favorites, but as players and coaches remind us all the time, TCU (9-19, 0-16) has scholarship players too—even if it’s only like seven of them. Below is a recap of the in-game updates from throughout the afternoon.

WEST VIRGINIA 81, TCU 59 (final)
Walk-ons Richard Romeo and Tyrone Hughes get into the boxscore late with baskets. (Romeo had just one previously, against Loyola-Maryland back on Dec. 2.) …WVU outscores the Frogs 42-23 in the second half. Harris leads the way with 18, while Staten adds 17. Adrian scored 14, just two off his career-high and Devin Williams closes with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
WEST VIRGINIA 76, TCU 54 (3:27 second half)
The Mountaineers sank 7-of-9 shots during one stretch to euthanize TCU. Hard to believe that West Virginia could play so poorly for chunks of this game and yet win by a ton. TCU really has fallen off since these teams met in early January. The Frogs looked like a beaten-down team.
WEST VIRGINIA 63, TCU 42 (8:42 second half)
Is this the second-half slippage that seems inevitable for TCU? (That is, after all, how you get to 0-15 in league play.) West Virginia’s on a 13-0 run, which included Nathan Adrian converting an old-timey three-point play by putting back Harris’ missed jumper. Devin Williams has six points in this stretch as well, giving him 10 for the game. With eight boards, he could be tracking his first double-double since Jan.11. TCU is 2-of-13 shooting this half.
WEST VIRGINIA 48, TCU 42 (11:55 second half)
TCU’s Shepherd had a good-and-bad sequence there: Stuffing Staten with a two-handed block in transition, but later missing a dunk (and then being assessed a technical for what appeared to be inadvertent hanging on the rim). … In other news of hoops ugliness, WVU has missed 6-of-7 and the Frogs have missed 5-of-6. Don’t think we’ll see 100 today.
WEST VIRGINIA 44, TCU 40 (15:28 second half)
The Mountaineers are 7-of-16 from 3-point range—not bad, at 44 percent—but they can’t fall into the trap of hoisting them against TCU’s zone. Of course, WVU’s preference is to speed up the game that TCU is aiming to slow down. The Frogs have committed 11 turnovers but those haven’t fueled West Virginia’s transition game.
 WEST VIRGINIA 39, TCU 36 (halftime)
So, it’s halftime at a nailbiter of a game West Virginia absolutely must win to maintain hopes of an NCAA at-large (and perhaps, because of that .500 rule, even an NIT bid could be in peril). Yet, we rewind to Huggins’ practice interview on Friday, and he was still angling for some points from the selection committee. “I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility—let’s say we finish 9-9—that we can’t get an NCAA tournament bid. If that happens, we’re probably going to finish ahead of a couple (teams) that are pretty good, in the best league in the country.”
WEST VIRGINIA 39, TCU 36 (halftime)
The Frogs made 12 field goals to WVU’s 11, but West Virginia made six 3s to TCU’s one. (That’s math the Mountaineers can appreciate.) … Juwan Staten has 10 points, albeit on 2-of-7 shooting. His 6-of-6 work at the foul line has come in handy. Harris has 11 and Connor delivered that now-legendary nine-point outburst.
TCU 33, WEST VIRGINIA 32 (3:26 first half)
The Mountaineers have hit just one of their last 10 shots, dropping their percentage to 34 percent. TCU’s 2-3 zone will dare WVU to score from outside. Meanwhile, 6-foot-10 freshman Karviar Shepherd has 10 points for TCU (two more than his per-game average), as does Anderson.
WEST VIRGINIA 28, TCU 21 (7:29 first half)
Eron Harris, clearly inspired by his new idol Chase Connor, has 11 points in pushing West Virginia out front. TCU guard Kyan Anderson has two fouls, which makes the offensively challenged Frogs all the more handicapped. However, TCU is shooting 50 percent (9-of-18), and attempting to become the fourth straight opponent to do so against WVU.
WEST VIRGINIA 16, TCU 15 (12:07 first half)
What in the wide, wide world of sports got into Chase Connor? The freshman walk-on who hadn’t scored a point all season just drained three 3-pointers in a span of 2:18. And it came at a point when the Mountaineers were sort of sleepily trudging through. (For the few who don’t know Connor’s background: He led the state of West Virginia in scoring at 27 points per game as a senior at Shady Spring High.)
PREGAME NOTES
Yes, Trent Johnson is dealing with a bare-bones roster because of injuries and suspension. But as Bob Huggins reminds us: “They’ve got one less guy than we do. If you took our team and their team together, we’d have 15 (players), which is what we used to have for one team. I don’t think that’s even a factor because our numbers are just about the same.”
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Comments

  • steve

    Willie-come out and play

  • pinball wizzard

    john beilein, just keeps on winning,,,

  • pinball wizzard

    each one of these freshmen should make huge improvements with their game over the off season..
    I just hope Watkins stays around,, again, i think he could be huge in a few yrs.
    Adrian has the touch, but he too needs to remember to defend. Williams needs to get a chip on his shoulder
    NOw if holton and macon make it to next yr, and they are anything like huggin's sugggests,, i like the looks of this team
    we definitely need some "Center" presence.
    If staten develops a 3 pt shot, he will be the best guard in many moons,, maybe alreasy is. and we got him as a gift'

  • pinball wizzard

    dibo, played 25 min. ,,, two pts... man is really disappointing,, i really don't think he's gotten any better since the start of the season.

    • Aaron

      Didn't you say he was the key a few weeks ago under a different moniker? I told you then he was a one dimensional player who can't play defense but you insisted he was more.

      What I've seen in the past 3 games specifically and all season in particular is that he if is not a focal point of the offense, he pouts and the rest of his minuscule game suffers.

      With Henderson out, WV needs Dibo to step up big but thus far, he's yet to do so. I will not be surprised that if he doesn't go the route of Dee Proby and Arric Murray and finish his senior season elsewhere.

  • ole sasquatch

    That zone defense wreaked havoc on TCU. That is a tremendous help to the bigs. They are not chasing and are pretty much set to rebound and use their body more. Takes a lot of pressure off our bigs if we can get away with a zone. They will start looking like they are improving. Let's try that again. Could be huge coming down to the end.
    Now is ole sasquatch right?

  • Aaron

    If WVU is going to win any more this year, they are going to have to shoot the ball better. 42% overall and 35% from behind the arc is not good enough to win games in the best conference in basketball.

    Other than Chase Connor (3-4) and Eron Harris (3-7) no one else shot the ball well behind the arc. Dibo was 0-3 while Adrian was 1-5, both missing wide open shots. Dibo is a streak shooter but Adrian's problems are form.

    Instead of squaring his shoulders to the basket, he is leading with his right foot, extending his elbows to far out and jumping frontwards into his shot instead of up and shooting with his legs.

    If he works on his form, he should shoot the ball much better which would be a big help to this team.

    At any rate, it's a good win, one WV had to have and as always, it's a great day to be a Mountaineer.

  • aquarius

    working on jumping is a good thing for williams..the tv replay of his "dunk" showed how close it came to not being a "dunk"...based upon his age and muscularity....you've got to believe he has tremendous upside (forgive me for that one)...foul shooting good, good to ok medium jumper, rebounding good...another year in the weight room...we need him...now,if that jumping ability comes around.....

  • Dave

    Good to see Devin Williams play better and get his 6th double double. He's going to be a good one for sure. Props to Chase Connor coming of the bench to give WVU a spark and 3 threes. Nathan Adrian has shown tons of improvement over the course of the season and had a big game today. Great team effort today. Keep it rollin' Mountaineers.

    LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mister Man

    Mr. Williams played quite well. It's hard to believe he's a true freshman. Congrats Mountaineers!!

  • pinball wizzard

    consider that all the walk ons, that got to play, ourscored noreen...this scholarship was a gift from heaven.

    • Aaron

      I wonder, do you see all he does in practice? Are you privy to his every contribution to this team?

      I see people on here saying Huggins cannot recruit but what they fail to understand is that its not that Huggins cannot get players to come to WV, he has had difficulty in keeping them here.

      Today's AAU mentality players aren't willing to take the limited minutes and roles assigned so they leave for greener pastures.

      What you get is short benches like both teams face. TCU only has 7 scholarship players, which their coach pointed out, as did the announcers.

      People who actually know basketball understand that if you don't have at least 5 solid players to compete against in practice, it hurts your team in numerous ways.

      Of the 4 players who left the team from last year, the only one that likely would have seen extended minutes as Jabarie Hinds and given the improvement of Staten, even that's not a given so it's not on game days that losing those players hurt, it's on every other day.

      But when those facts are pointed out, far too many just cannot comprehend it. Instead they want to make asinine comments about Huggins and his ability to recruit.

      What you see as a wasted scholarship is actually a program building scholarship and WV would be better off if they could recruit a Kevin Noreen every year to go along with the 4 star recruits Huggins consistently brings to Morgantown.

  • pinball wizzard

    great day to be an eer.

    wow, staten should be all american..
    i know he is to this team,, certainly , without him , our season would have been a total disaster.
    Hopefully, Henderson comes back, but huggins won't tell us.
    good effort today,, dibo continues to be miffed by the word defense.
    he can't seem to play def. and not foul..
    Watkins just needs PT.. great up potential.
    If we can just win one of two of our last, it would be great,,,, i'd really like beating kansas.
    wins are hard to come by, we need about three more.

  • Aaron

    What a second half. It will be difficult for the naysayers to cite TCU fatigue as WVU is essentially playing with the same number of players, although young Mr. Connor certainly asserted himself in the first half.

    That willingness to not only shoot but knock down shots would have been huge against Baylor. Here's hoping that until Henderson returns, the young man will not be forgotten.

  • TW EAGLE

    game becoming a laugher . . . seeing Conner in profile shooting a jumper reminded me of Zeke . . . Conner's not rail thin like Zeke was as a soph ., WOW . . .TY

  • Mike

    Never seen any big man get stuffed and blocked around the basket as much as Williams. He's worthless offensively within 5 feet of the basket. He's got a long way to go.

    • Aaron

      I believe the number 1 thing young Mr. Williams will work on is his jumping ability.

      • Wirerowe

        I like him Aaron but he can't jump much higher than Kevin, I think jumping ability is from the get go. But maybe he can work on his positioning , timing and as Alan says his craftiness. Great day to be a Mountaineer. Win for the Mounites and a great new President for WVU.

        • Aaron

          I love his game but I agree, he can't jump out of a baby pool.

          I challenge Allen to get his vertical and post it. I got 2 beers and a hot pretzel that says it's less than 12 inches.

          Saying that, of all the current Mountaineers, I think he has the most upside to an NBA career.

      • pinball wizzard

        and shooting ability

    • Allan Taylor

      @Mike: He needs to become craftier. Can't do it on athleticism alone, because he doesn't have that much lift.

      • Billy

        Easy to forget that he is a true freshman too.