Mountaineers get an earful from chanting Gonzaga fans
SPOKANE, Wash. - After Monday, West Virginia's football team has company around its Morgantown campus.
The Mountaineer basketball team, at least, did its best impression in an embarrassing 84-50 loss to Gonzaga in the school's regular-season opener.
One could follow the game by the Gonzaga student section's chants.
First it was, "You've got two points" around the 11-minute mark of the first half. Then it was "Air ball." And, finally, it was "Up by 30."
WVU shot but 27.3 percent from the floor and 11.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc. But the team also made numerous mental errors from a shot-clock violation to dribbling off a foot. The Mountaineers had to call a timeout to avoid a 5-second out-of-bounds call - after being whistled for one in the first half.
"We don't even compete," said WVU coach Bob Huggins. "That's what bothers me more than anything. We just didn't compete."
"[Gonzaga] got going very quickly," said Mountaineer guard Jabarie Hinds, who finished with nine points. "They played very physical - again - and we got tempo-ed. I thought it would be a lot different game than last year's [a 77-54 NCAA loss], but I guess not."
WVU center Deniz Kilicli had five points on 2-of-6 shooting.
"We played horrible," Kilicli said. "The score says we have work to do."
The Turkey native shook his head.
"Our main focus was to start off right," he said. "It's our fault. We didn't pass well. We knew what to do and didn't do it.
"In the exhibition [win over Glenville] we didn't pass and make shots, but they weren't as strong as [Gonzaga's] guys."
"We knew what type of team they were and what they were going to do," said point guard Juwan Staten. "We just gave them too many clean shots, too many open shots.
"It wasn't pretty. Now we've got to go back to the drawing board."
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.