There were six games Saturday with two Big East Conference teams battling and the road team won three of the six. The Mountaineers can’t afford to have that happen today. South Florida is winless on the road so far this season (0-8 overall and 0-4 in the Big East.) The Mountaineers made up for the St. John’s loss at home by winning league road games at DePaul and Georgetown. The team can’t let another home game slip away.
–Cam Thoroughman gets the start at center today. Danny Jennings had started the last three games for WVU, giving way quickly to Deniz Kilicli. Kilicli is being slowed by a sore toe. Kilicli missed a portion of pre-game warmups today as he continued to get treatment for that toe.
–Kevin Jones to the bench early with two fouls. Should be plenty of minutes now (especially in the first half) for Thoroughman who has drawn the tough assignment of guarding South Florida’s top scorer Gus Gilchrist.
–Casey Mitchell has scored eight of WVU’s first 13 points. And they haven’t been on jump shots. He’s been very active with a couple of offensive rebounds. Kilicli has limped around at times on that toe, but he’s been very good early with four points (on 2-2 shooting) and five rebounds.
–John Flowers hit another first half three. Flowers has hit his last five three point shot attempts. Over the last three + games, Flowers is 6-7 from three. In the first 14 games, Flowers was 4-18.
–Halftime stats as WVU leads 27-16: WVU held South Florida to just 25% shooting from the field and WVU pounded the glass as 11 of its 25 rebounds were offensive rebounds. WVU also forced nine turnovers. Mitchell finished the half with ten points and six rebounds, four offensive. Gilchrist finished the half with a team high eight points, but all of those baskets came in the first 7:30 of the half.
–Perhaps the best stat of the half was that the two teams combined for just eight fouls. That was a welcome change after the mess in Charleston when 64 fouls were called and 70 free throws were shot in the Marshall game.
–Mitchell secured his tenth rebound of the game near the mid-way point of the second half. Mitchell has earned his first career double figure rebounding game and his first career double/double.
–fourth consecutive double figures scoring game for Flowers as well.
–56-46 the final. South Florida came into the game as the lowest scoring team in the league so it is no suprise that WVU held the Bulls to the lowest defensive scoring total of the season at 46. The previous low was 49 points Robert Morris on December 7. On the other hand, WVU had its lowest scoring total of the season. The Mountaineers had gone over 60 points in every game up until this point.
–Just six turnovers today for WVU.
–Now it’s two in a row on the road as the Mountaineers will play at Louisville Wednesday and at Cincinnati on Saturday.