Marquette Reels In WVU To Score An 82-71 Victory

West Virginia forward Jalen Bridges lines up a shot

It was a complete turnaround from the first half to the second, as Marquette came storming back to defeat West Virginia, 82-71, Friday night in the semifinal round of the Shriners Children’s Classic in Charleston, South Carolina.

The loss sends WVU (3-1) into the tournament’s third-place game, where it will face Clemson (4-1) Sunday at 5 p.m. The Tigers fell to St. Bonaventure, 68-65, in their Shriners’ semifinal. The Golden Eagles and Bonnies will meet for the tourney championship Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.

For West Virginia and Marquette, it was a tale of two halves. The Mountaineers controlled the first half and held a 47-35 lead at halftime. But then first-year MU head coach Shaka Smart and his Golden Eagles completely dominated the second half, outscoring WVU 47-24 in that decisive period to pull away for the win.

“It’s the same thing that has gone wrong in every outing we’ve had this year,” stated WVU head coach Bob Huggins on the Mountaineer Sports Network postgame radio show. “Every game we’ve had we play pretty good the first half but then come out flat as can be the second half.

“We have not played a good second half yet. We haven’t gone in and played as hard and competitive in any second half this year.”

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Marquette held a 14-8 lead in the game’s early going, but most of the rest of the first half belonged to West Virginia.

A 17-2 run in a six-minute stretch allowed the Mountaineers to turn that six-point deficit into a nine-point lead at 25-16. The Golden Eagles went on a 10-2 spurt to claw back to within 29-26 at the 6:47 mark, but WVU outscored Marquette 18-9 over the remainder of the half to take a 47-35 lead into the locker room at the game’s midway point.

“I thought we played well in the first half. They all played well. Kedy (Johnson, WVU’s starting point guard) getting in foul trouble didn’t help us any, but that’s been every single game,” noted Huggins.

Coming off a career-high 27-point performance in Thursday’s victory over Elon, West Virginia senior guard Taz Sherman again led the way in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 14 points, which included a five-of-nine effort from the field. Nine different Mountaineers reached the scoring column in the first half, and five of them hit a 3-pointer.

WVU may have had all the momentum going into the locker room at halftime, but Marquette quickly turned things around once play resumed.

West Virginia’s lead was still 12 at 54-42 four minutes in, but then the Golden Eagles went on a 13-0 tear in a three-minute span, hitting all five of their field-goal attempts in that stretch, while WVU was zero of six in that same time. The MU run gave it a 55-54 lead, and the Golden Eagles kept streaking from there as part of a 22-6 dash that all but sealed the Marquette victory. A lot of MU’s damage came from 3-point range, where it made eight of 13 from beyond the arc in the second half, which lifted the team from Milwaukee to a lead that grew as large as 11 by the end.

“We lost our defensive intensity in the second half – 100%,” said Huggins. “They were all penetrate-and-pitch shots.

“We played man (defense) in the first half and were active,” he added. “The second half they straight-lined us, and we stood around.”

West Virginia guard Sean McNeil lines up a shot

Sherman and Sean McNeil combined to make eight-of-15 field goal attempts in the first half, but the pair of WVU guards managed to convert only three-of-16 shots in the second. They still were West Virginia’s leading scorers for the game with 21 points for Sherman and 12 for McNeil. Jalen Bridges, who had 11 points, was the only other Mountaineer with more than six.

Marquette had four double-figure scorers led by George Mason transfer Tyler Kolek’s 18 points. MU also outrebounded West Virginia 37-32. For the contest, the Golden Eagles made 12-of-26 3-pointers (46.2%). WVU was seven of 19 from beyond the arch (36.8%), but it managed to make only two of 12 from that range in the second half.

“I don’t know,” Huggins responded when asked how he corrects WVU’s mistakes. “I could lie to you, but I don’t know.”



Home Page forums Marquette Reels In WVU To Score An 82-71 Victory

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    It was a complete turnaround from the first half to the second, as Marquette came storming back to defeat West Virginia, 82-71, Friday night in the se
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    24-point turnaround is inexcusable! I really though this team was going to be special. Up by 13, then boom! Bottom fell out!  Sure hope Sunday isn’t a doubleheader defeat for WVU, at noon to Texas and at 5 p.m. to Clemson. A doubleheader victory would be SO much better to settle my nerves! 


    Man that was a swap


    We talked about this game being a barometer of where WVU is in it’s progress.A lot of positives and an equal amount of negatives.

    The one announcer,I think the woman, remarked that Marquette’s offense looked disciplined and WVU’s looked disjointed. I’d have to agree.

    Is there such a thing as man defense anymore? Those threes from the corners were daggers.That play was ran it seems a dozen times and we left that corner shot wide open every time.


    Marquette game planned well at halftime, adjusted like they’ve been doing and shot lights out.

    Tale of two halves, learn from it, and move on.



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Home Page forums Marquette Reels In WVU To Score An 82-71 Victory

Home Page forums Marquette Reels In WVU To Score An 82-71 Victory