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:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

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

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 by

The NBA Draft and its deadline to withdraw to return to school leads the way in our latest podcast. We also look at one conference’s new scheduling plans, a number of quick hitters, and pay tribute to a fallen conference leader.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.