That was a game that pretty much summed up the difference for Pitt when point guard Tray Woodall scored 24 points. Woodall missed most of the losing streak with an injury.
"He played great against us,'' Huggins said. "Really, he played about as well as any point guard has played against us.''
Woodall will once again be of great concern to the Mountaineers tonight, because his presence makes all the Panthers better.
"He's a great distributor,'' Huggins said of Woodall. "When you get open and you know you're going to get the ball, you have a tendency to work a whole lot harder to get open.''
Woodall, though, has struggled of late and Pitt has reverted to its earlier form. After running off four straight wins, the Panthers have lost back-to-back road games to South Florida and Seton Hall. If the Panthers have any NCAA hopes left, tonight's game just might be more important to them than to WVU.
West Virginia, meanwhile, will go in once again hoping to get a better performance from Bryant, who since that Marshall game has had shooting nights of 2-for-16, 4-for-13, 4-for-11, 2-for-7, 11-for-22, 0-for-6 and 3-for-17. Against Providence, he had 32 points and the game-tying and game-winning baskets, but in the other six games he is 15-for-70 (21.4 percent) overall and 9-for-45 (20 percent) on 3-pointers.
BRIEFLY: Tonight's game is West Virginia's only one in an 11-day span beginning with last Saturday's 77-74 loss to Louisville. The Mountaineers don't play again until Wednesday night at Notre Dame. After that, the regular season ends with home games against Marquette (a week from Friday) and DePaul and a March 2 trip to South Florida.
"I think K.J. clearly has been the best player in the league,'' Huggins said. "I mean, when you look at the history of the Big East, there's only been two people that led the league in both scoring and rebounding for a season. That says volumes.
"But obviously it would be better if we won.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1