West Virginia coach Bob Huggins wasn’t shy about revealing his team’s blemishes following its first loss of the season.
Huggins hopes the No. 11Mountaineers (3-1) can learn from those mistakes on Sunday when they visit Georgetown (1-1) in Washington, D.C., as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle.
Huggins, 67, was grousing after West Virginia put a scare into top-ranked Gonzaga before falling 87-82 on Wednesday.
“We had every opportunity in the world to come out of here with a win, and we kind of gave it away,” he said. “Missed free throws, missed layups, turning the ball over without being pressured, not throwing the ball to open people … we’ve got a lot of things to fix.
“But the positive thing is they are all things that are fixable.”
Derek Culver led West Virginia in scoring for the third straight game by recording 18 points to go along with a team-best 15 rebounds. However, he missed five of his 11 attempts from the free-throw line and tied for the team lead with four turnovers.
“I put the blame on myself,” Culver said. “There were a lot of times I had the ball and had it knocked from my hands. I lost the game for my teammates. That makes me so mad because they didn’t show us nothing we couldn’t guard.”
Oscar Tshiebwe added 14 points and nine rebounds, buthe was limited to just 21 minutes because of foul trouble and fouled out with 7:26 remaining.
Miles McBride, who had a game-high 23 points in the season-opening 79-71 win over South Dakota State on Wednesday, made just 4 of 14 attempts from the field on Wednesday. He finished with 10 points.
The Mountaineers showed grit on the boards and held a 41-36 edge in rebounding over Gonzaga. Huggins, however, wasn’t interested in hearing about it.
“I have a hard time finding any silver linings in losing,” Huggins said. “I’m not wired that way. We had every opportunity to win the game and didn’t and you can’t get it back. It’s done now, and now we go to Georgetown.”
The Hoyas would also like to put their last result in their rearview mirror, a 78-71 setback to Navy on Tuesday, Georgetown’s first loss to the Midshipmen since 1977.
Jahvon Blair and Jamorko Pickett each collected 17 points and six rebounds, but the tandem combined to make just 5 of 19 attempts from 3-point range.
Qudus Wahab added a career-high 16 points after scoring 12 and adding 12 rebounds in Georgetown’s season-opening 70-62 win over Maryland Baltimore County on Nov. 25.
Like Huggins, Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing was quick to point out his team’s faults following its first loss of the season.
“We have to be able to stop people,” Ewing said. “We have to be able to take and make good shots. We also have to get the ball inside. It has to be an inside-out attack. We have to get the ball inside by either posting it, driving it and then being able to find guys on the perimeter.”
–Field Level Media