WVU Loses at Syracuse

  • February 04, 2009 10:34 PM
  • |
By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com
February 4, 2009

#20 Syracuse 74, West Virginia 61
carrier dome
syracuse, n.y.
West Virginia 29 32 61
Syracuse 37 37 74
Stat Comparison
FG Made-Att 24-67 29-62
FG Percentage 35.8% 46.8%
3P Made-Att 7-27 3-14
3P Percentage 25.9% 21.4%
FT Made-Att 6-10 13-17
FT Percentage 60.0% 76.5%
Rebounds 35 46
Turnovers 13 15
Top WVU Players
Top Scorer
Top Scorer
 Da'Sean Butler
23 Points
Alex Ruoff
10 Points

Syracuse got 22 points each from guards Eric Devendorf and Jonny Flynn to defeat West Virginia 74-61 Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome.

Devendorf was 9 of 18 shooting and Flynn made 7 of 13 as the Orange shot 46.9 percent for the game. Syracuse had a 46-35 advantage on the glass and held West Virginia to just 35.8 percent shooting.

“It’s hard to come in here and shoot 35 percent and win,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “I think the disappointing thing for me was we didn’t get the loose balls. We weren’t the aggressor the way we need to be. We can’t be like them because they are better than we are.”

Forward Paul Harris scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Forward Arinze Onuaku, slowed recently with a knee injury, managed to play 18 minutes and scour 4 points and grab six rebounds.

“We couldn’t guard Jonny Flynn. We tried point-drop, we tried zone and they did a good job,” Huggins said. “They got us spread out. Devendorf made shots and I thought Paul Harris played real well. They’ve just got more artillery than what we have. That doesn’t mean we can’t win, but we have to be a lot more assertive than what we were.”

Syracuse (18-5, 6-4) snapped a season-long three-game losing streak.

“How many two-on-ones and three-on-twos did we not convert? It’s the guys you want to have have the ball and we don’t make the right pass or we miss a dunk,” Huggins said.

“We got good shots, particularly in the first half,” Huggins added. “I think Syracuse did a much better job in the second half than they did in the first half. We had shots we ought to make and we didn’t make them.”

Trailing by 20 with 10 minutes in the game, West Virginia battled back to cut Syracuse’s lead to nine with 3:07 remaining.

“We got it to nine and Da’ misses two free throws. Then we got it to 10 and we missed not one, but two follow shots from two feet,” Huggins said. “A lot of that is we’re undersized and I understand that, but if you’re going to win you’ve got to make two-footers.”

Thirteen of West Virginia’s 24 field goals came from Da’Sean Butler and Alex Ruoff. The rest of the team went a combined 11 of 36.

“If you take Da’Sean and Alex out of the equation I think the rest of the team is shooting below 30 percent from the field,” said Huggins. “And I’m not talking about from 3, I’m talking about from the field so we have to do the little things right.”

Butler led the Mountaineers with 23 points. It’s the sixth straight game the junior has scored at least 20 and he is now averaging 17.9 points per game.

West Virginia (15-7, 4-5) right now is going through its toughest stretch of the season. Wednesday’s game against No. 20-rated Syracuse was the Mountaineers’ eighth against a ranked team so far this year.

“We’ve got to get to eight or nine conference wins and right now we have (four),” said Huggins. “If we don’t have bounce, if we don’t beat people to balls and we don’t do the little things … the reality is we’re shooting 41 percent for the year. We don’t make shots. You take Da’Sean out of the equation and it’s really bad.”

The Mountaineers return to the Coliseum Saturday for a 4 pm game against Providence.

“We need a huge student crowd in there to really help us,” Huggins said. “If we can get those people in there we’ll do our part and come out and play with great enthusiasm.”