Men's Basketball

WVU Wins Foul Fest

By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com
January 14, 2009

West Virginia 87, Marshall 76
Charleston Civic Center
Charleston, W.Va.
Marshall 23 53 76
West Virginia 34 53 87
Stat Comparison
FG Made-Att 27-58 26-49
FG Percentage 46.6% 53.1%
3P Made-Att 8-19 5-12
3P Percentage 42.1% 41.7%
FT Made-Att 14-26 30-42
FT Percentage 53.8% 71.4%
Rebounds 30 35
Turnovers 11 10
Top WVU Players
Top Scorer
Top Rebounder
Darryl Bryant
22 Points
Kevin Jones
8 Rebounds

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Last year West Virginia couldn’t make its free throws and struggled to beat Marshall by two points. Wednesday night, the Mountaineers made a season-high 30 foul shots to defeat the Thundering Herd 87-76 in the 2008 Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic in Charleston.

The victory snapped West Virginia's two-game losing streak.

“I thought we played very well in spurts and I thought we guarded well in spurts,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “But giving up 53 points in the second half is unacceptable and letting them shoot 53 percent in the second half is unacceptable.

“That’s what separates us from the upper echelon in our league right now,” Huggins said.

Fifty four fouls and a shot-clock malfunction before the start of the second half tacked on an extra 45 minutes to tonight’s game. The two teams played the second half without a shot clock, requiring the Civic Center public address announcer to call out time intervals.

After leading by 11 at halftime, West Virginia came out and hit three consecutive 3s to build a 43-23 lead. From there Marshall spent the rest of the game chasing the Mountaineers.

Marshall’s two best inside players spent a good portion of the second half on the bench, Tyler Wilkerson with foul trouble and Markel Humphrey after losing his tooth when Wellington Smith’s elbow caught Humphrey in the mouth while following through on a jump shot.

Freshman Truck Bryant recovered from a scoreless performance last Saturday at Marquette by scoring a season-high 22 points to grab game MVP honors. Bryant was 3 of 3 from 3-point range and finished 11 of 15 from the free throw line.

Da’Sean Butler contributed 17 points and seven rebounds and Alex Ruoff added 15 points and five assists. Devin Ebanks scored 12.

West Virginia finished the game 26 of 49 from the floor for 53.1 percent. The Mountaineers were 30 of 42 from the free throw line and had a 35-30 advantage on the glass.

Humphrey returned to the floor to score 13 points while Shaquille Johnson scored 15 for Marshall, now 8-8.

“There are times when we are going to get out-manned but Humphrey shouldn’t have out-manned us and he did tonight,” Huggins said. “He’s a senior and we have freshmen and sophomores in there. We are young.”

Marshall recovered from a poor first-half shooting performance to shoot 46.5 percent for the game.

“I told the guys after the game that I’m tired of telling guys the same thing time after time after time,” said Huggins. “If you don’t do it right, come out of the game and sit by me.”

WVU is finished with non-conference regular season action compiling an 11-2 record outside of Big East play. It represents the 17th straight year the Mountaineers have posted a winning regular season non-conference record.

"You have to do everything right to beat a team like West Virginia," said Marshall coach Donnie Jones. "We got beat late on some offensive rebounds and some different things.

"They were holding teams to 58 points per game so at least we were able to score," Jones said. "We just weren't able to stop them. We had to foul a lot and they wound up making 30 free throws."

West Virginia (12-4) returns to league play to face USF in a Big East match up Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum. The game will be televised on the Big East Network at noon and there are no tickets remaining.

“You look around this league and teams are bigger and more talented than we are and we have to compensate in some form or fashion. We have no margin for error, we’ve got to play incredibly efficient and we don’t always do that,” Huggins said.


  • Twenty of Bob Huggins’ 38 victories at West Virginia have now come away from the WVU Coliseum. Huggins is now 3-0 against Marshall with one victory coming at Cincinnati.

    “When you have really good teams they enjoy playing on the road,” Huggins pointed out. “The really good teams I’ve had enjoyed playing on the road and they enjoyed going into packed places and quieting them. They love to go in there and just shut them up and have them leave early and have everybody gone and on their way by the time the game ends.

    “We’ve got to get that mentality.”

  • West Virginia’s 11-point victory was just the second time in the last 11 meetings the winning team has won by more than six points. The Mountaineers are 14-4 against Marshall since the game was moved to Charleston on an annual basis.

  • A total of 106 fouls have been called in the last two games in Charleston with the two teams shooting a combined 129 free throws.