Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

West Virginia’s Second-Half Surge Tops Irish

February 19, 2009 Conference Notes No Comments

Alex Ruoff scorched the nets to the tune of 24 points on 9-for-16 shooting, and West Virginia reeled off a decisive 16-6 second half spurt, leading to the Mountaineers’ 79-68 victory over Notre Dame before a raucous 13,126 at WVU Coliseum last night.

This crass crowd littered the floor of the arena with 2:34 remaining, their reaction to a Luke Harangody foul.

A simple scrap for a loose ball between Harangody and Cam Thoroughman turned ugly. Fans felt Harangody got too physical and out of line during the play, and they clearly weren’t shy with their reaction.  Warnings would surface, but no fan was ejected.

With the win, the fresh-faced Mountaineers closed within a half game of Providence. It’s beginning to look like a mud-wrestle for sixth place, in a Big East conference that’s got a surplus of talent.

Providence (16-10, 8-6) was cooked to the recipe of a 94-76 blood-lettering by Louisville. The Cardinals came roaring back from a one-point deficit at the intermission, and the Friars couldn’t withstand a wild second-half rally.

The WVU/ND game was projected to be the battle of the snipers, as two ballclubs who employ a brand of basketball similar to a Wild Wild West flick came out firing.  Neither team, however, was too impressive from beyond the arc (Notre Dame shot 8-for-22 while WVU went 7-for-27), but Ruoff and a trio of New York-bred freshmen outhustled, out-toughed, and eventually clamped down on the Irish and the inside-outside tandem of Harangody and Kyle McAlarney.

The once dynamic duo combined for 38 points. The Irish, however, were negated by a 6 minute, 45 second scoring drought. It underscored a second-half power outage.

Ruoff, known simply as a trigger man the past three years, proved he’s upped his full offensive package.  The senior busted out stepback jumpers, went to the hole, and had a huge putback – which cut Notre Dame’s early lead to one point – in the first half.

“He’s really worked. You have to give him tremendous credit,” said Mountaineers coach Bobby Huggins.

“He shot the ball really well today, but he hadn’t shot the ball well before. He’s found ways to score. He’s become more versatile. He’s become maybe our best defender – period.”

Freshman Kevin Jones, who hails from the rich basketball breeding grounds of Mount Vernon, N.Y. (see: Gordon, Ben) turned in a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.

Jones wasn’t alone.  Devin Ebanks, the ultra-long freshman from Long Island City, N.Y., scored 11 points and ripped down nine rebounds.

Huggins, who typically doesn’t like playing freshmen, has gotten solid production out of the three-headed monster of Jones, Ebanks, and Darryl “Truck” Bryant.  Bryant, though, was a non-factor last night, as he went 0-for-7, contributing to WVU’s woeful shooting.

“I reminded them we can’t shoot so we have to rebound,” said Huggins.

“They were switching some things, which gave us some mismatches. We had some pretty good shots, but we didn’t make them. We weren’t in great position to rebound.”

The Irish, who have now lost eight of their last ten, couldn’t rebound from their second-half dry spell. They cut it to 64-59 following a 9-2 surge capped off by Harangody’s three-point play, but they couldn’t inch any closer.

Chants of “NIT” rang out across the arena in the final minute.

“A lot of teams would have given up right now, but that’s not us,” Harangody told USATODAY.Com.  “There’s a lot of basketball still to be played.”

ND came out on all cylinders, jumping out with a 10-2 burst after McAlarney’s corner trey. West Virginia stormed back, as Ruoff drained a three and then a mid-range jumper completing a personal 7-0 run and pulling WVU to within four with 8:53 to go.

Ruoff’s aforementioned putback cut ND’s lead to 37-36 but Ryan Ayers – the son of Washington Wizards assistant coach Randy Ayers – drilled a 3-pointer to bump the Irish ahead, 40-36.

Moments later, Jones’ bucket deadlocked it at 40. Da’Sean Butler got into the paint for the go-ahead bucket, sending the Mountaineers into halftime with the momentum rolling.

Butler, who erupted for 43 points in a statement win over Villanova, finished with 19 points.

Harangody, the defending Big East Player of the Year, scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down 12 boards.

Comment on this Article:







Like Hoopville on Facebook

Advertisement


Your Phil of Hoops

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by

kentucky

Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by

delaware

There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

Hoopville Archives

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Sunday notes

April 29, 2015 by

adidasuprising

Sunday was the conclusion of the adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis, and we take a look at some of the players who shined on a day that saw a few games that weren’t very competitive.