BUFFALO, N.Y. — As West Virginia point guard Jevon Carter was matching a season-high scoring output, his Notre Dame counterpart Matt Farrell couldn’t keep pace.
Farrell’s eight points snapped a 14-game streak of double-digit scoring, his six shot attempts were one off a season low, and his four turnovers matched his season-worst totals against Louisville and Villanova.
The point guard Mike Brey suggested was better than Bobby Hurley (whom Brey also coached) couldn’t get it done Saturday.
“He wanted to be comfortable,” Carter said. “He wanted to get to his right hand, come off the ball screen and make plays. It was my job to speed him up, make him uncomfortable.”
Carter scored 24 and committed no turnovers.
Colson loses despite monster game
Undersized forward Bonzie Colson swished 3s and squeezed off mid-range jumpers on his way to a game-high 27 points. He finished 10-of-15 from the floor and battled for eight rebounds in 37 minutes, but didn’t receive enough help to extend Notre Dame’s season.
“It’s horrible,” said Colson. “It’s frustrating when you try to play your tail off and play with everything you have and just leave everything out there.”
Brey lauds Mountaineers ‘men’
Irish coach Mike Brey praised Bob Huggins’ adoption of a full-court style that stands as a “heck of a niche in the Big 12.”
Yet some truisms from their days as Big East rivals haven’t changed.
“The one thing about West Virginia that’s the same — when we played them back this the Big East and more so today — they got men,” he said. “They have men.”
Freshman loses cool
Senior guard Tarik Philip, the most trash-talkative player on West Virginia’s roster, recalled playing pickup games back home in Brooklyn against Notre Dame freshman T.J. Gibbs.
So their matchup provided a mini-storyline throughout Saturday’s second-round contest.
After Phillip was called for an offensive pushoff, Gibbs swiped the ball out of Phillip’s hands and received a technical.
Phillip sank both free throws to put West Virginia up 63-52 with 8:07 left.
“He knew what did,” Phillip said. “He was just into the game. That’s emotion. He’s young and amped up for the game.”
Irish lament open looks
Notre Dame had gone 15-1 when making 10 or more 3-pointers this season, and they knocked down 10 Saturday.
But it took them 28 attempts to get there.
Senior forward VJ Beachem made only 1-of-9 from deep and 2-of-14 overall. He missed his final eight shots.
“My teammates did a great job of finding me open shots like they usually do, but today I just wasn’t able to knock them down,” he said. “You know, of course, they wear you down a little bit. Maybe that’s why some of them were short, but I just didn’t knock them down.”