10:06am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

Mountaineers struggle at point-blank range

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Eron Harris saw the crack in the Virginia Tech defense, burst through the lane and elevated over the rim for a finger roll … that lipped out.

Retreating downcourt, he squeezed his head in disbelief at the 4-for-17 shooting performance taking shape in what became an 87-82 loss.

“My shot wasn’t falling … I was even missing layups,” said Harris, whose 16-point effort was a disappointment given the number of times he penetrated the lane. The shot chart showed Harris made only 2-of-11 at the rim, while point guard Juwan Staten was 3-of-10 on close shots, many of them contested by Hokies defenders who blocked 13 shots.

“A few of us were missing layups today,” Harris said. “I don’t know if it was because we were trying to seek contact and we weren’t looking at the rim like we were supposed to do or what.”

As Virginia Tech players slapped high-fives with the students inside Cassell Coliseum, Harris burned over the 17-point lead West Virginia squandered.

“We’ve got to learn how to play consistently,” he said. “In my opinion, we were way better than that team.”

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