Allen’s Points Just The Tip Of The Tale In WVU Win
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – What will be lost in Teddy Allen’s career-best 24 point performance was his effort on the boards and while defending.
Sure, Allen had 18 points in the first half alone, and scored 16 over the final five minutes to serve as the crux of a closing 24-1 push that changed a one-point game into the proper 42-18 edge at the break. He hit his usual array of close shots, from twisting lay-ins to slashing drives to the bucket, and stepped outside for a pair of threes in a key 9-0 push. Allen also nailed 6-of-7 from the line for a rock steady scoring stat line.
But with No. 10 West Virginia as cold as it was – the Mountaineers started 2-for-15 from the field and led winless CSU by just one point at 18-17 over the first 14 minutes – it was the defense that allowed WVU to maintain even the slimmest of margins. It was, as head coach Bob Huggins said, the idea that offense takes skill, but defense is heart and hustle.
Allen and the Mountaineers showed that, forcing Coppin State into a season-high 28 turnovers and scoring 29 points off such, while the forward finished with nine rebounds, seven on offense, along with a pair of steals to go with 8-of-19 shooting.
“That’s Teddy,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “It’s hard to tell Teddy what a good shot is and what a good shot isn’t. It’s a fine line. Teddy has what all scorers have is no conscious.”
But Allen has also understood that he must put forth effort on defense, and he’s done that a surprising rate. After entering as arguably WVU’s worst defensive player, Allen has shown signs of being able to guard, and he used a size advantage to best his Coppin State counterparts in the 77-38 victory.
“I think you just have to keep playing and hope someone starts hitting,” Allen said of the defensive performance that held CSU to just 23.4 percent shooting. “We played good defense and we always rely on that – stuff you can control. We know we can control how hard we play and whether or not the other team is scoring.”
“I think we finally got after balls a little bit better than we did in the first 10 minutes. We started getting to the ball, getting off, just practicing the things we have been doing.”
West Virginia’s focus since the exhibition game has been on the press and 1-3-1 zone. The Mountaineers never went to the look, but did use pressure and solid man defense to limit the Eagles to poor shot selection in taking 20 three-pointers and making just three. Coppin State also had just six offensive boards on 36 missed shots. Allen was actually in line for a double-double, finishing just one rebound shy after a battle with a teammate for a board near the end.
“I bet if they would have known they would have let me grab it,” he said. “But it’s fine; it’s all good. We got the W.”
And that’s just it. It wasn’t pretty, or particularly pleasing. But the Mountaineers, via their defense throughout, did enough to secure the win over a winless foe. That in itself was enough, in this one, to get the Mountaineers to 10-1 on the season.
“They didn’t have the same bounce in their step, the same enthusiasm,” Huggins said. “I wasn’t shocked we shot it that poorly because shot that poorly in practice. Teddy can score. But then we turned it over. That was a horrific display of shooting the ball.”