After a promising start, the University of Charleston's season had hit the skids and needed the kind of reinvigoration that Monday night's game ultimately afforded.
Among other things, the Golden Eagles responded by delivering some dive-on-the-floor intensity, topped off by a couple of nice scoring binges that led to a 77-70 victory over Glenville State Monday night at Eddie King Gym. On a night ideally suited to staying home, a crowd of about 200 attended.
Most important, UC (6-4, 3-3 Mountain East) snapped a three-game losing streak that had dulled the luster of its 5-1 start to the season, during which the Golden Eagles had knocked off Fairmont State and Wheeling Jesuit. Looking at the standings, those could be called upsets.
UC's effort in defeating the Pioneers, said first-year coach Dwaine Osborne, was reminiscent of those first six games.
"Tonight it was back to what we were doing when we were 5-1,'' said Osborne. "When we played hard this year, we're 6-1. And when we haven't, we're 0-3. We started the year 5-1, and I didn't feel like in any of those games - even the one we lost to West Liberty - that a lack of effort was the issue.''
The three straight losses to Shepherd, Shaw and West Virginia Wesleyan apparently sent a message.
"We got tired of losing, the feeling of losing,'' said UC senior forward Xavier Humphrey. "After the Wesleyan game, our practices were way better. We were dogfighting each other in practice, and it showed in the game.''
"On Sunday,'' said Osborne, "we had one of our best practices of the year.''
In the three-game losing streak, he added, "our effort and execution were abysmal.''