WVU Punishes Pitt

West Virginia forward Dimon Carrigan (center) fights to get a shot away in traffic (Frank Salucci photo)

West Virginia was dominant in its 100th all-time win over Pitt, punishing the Panthers, 74-59, Friday night at the WVU Coliseum.

Pitt turned the basketball over 32 times against West Virginia, which has been exceeded by just seven other Mountaineer opponents ever. The last time a WVU foe had more than 32 giveaways was in 2016 when Western Carolina had 34 against Press Virginia. The 32 turnovers by the Panthers came a game after West Virginia forced 25 in the season-opening win against Oakland. By the way, the Golden Grizzlies went into Stillwater Friday and defeated Oklahoma State, 56-55.

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“It’s really nice to beat your almost cross-town rival, a rivalry of a good many years,” said WVU head coach Bob Huggins of the Panthers, who fell to 0-2 on the young season and who are now 88-100 all-time in the Backyard BasketBrawl.

“We were good,” added Huggins on the MSN postgame radio show. “We know our young guys aren’t quite ready yet, but they will be. This was good for us, as were the previous two encounters they played in (an exhibition game against Akron and the regular-season opener against Oakland).”

Pitt actually held early leads at 8-4 and 13-12, but WVU put together a 17-4 run over the latter portion of the first half that gave them to a 34-19 lead. The Mountaineers never were threatened after that, as they led by double figures the rest of the way. Their largest lead came at 67-46 following a couple Taz Sherman free throws with 5:15 left to play, and from there it was just a matter of closing out the victory in front of the sellout Coliseum crowd of 14,100. It’s the largest November crowd in the 51-year history of the Coliseum.

“We made some huge threes when they were starting to make runs that kind of clipped their runs,” said Huggins, whose club was nine of 22 from beyond the arc, while Pitt was three of six from that range.

The Panthers did outrebound WVU, 36-20, and thus had a 13-8 advantage in second-chance points. But the Mountaineers more than made up for that in the points-off-turnover department, winning that 32-14.

“You’re going to win when you force 32 turnovers,” stated Huggins, who recorded his 902nd career win Friday, moving him into a tie with Bob Knight for fifth place on the NCAA men’s basketball coaching all-time victory list. “We’ve got to get a little more consistent offensively, and we’ve got to rebound the ball way, way better than what we’ve rebounded the ball.”

West Virginia guard Taz Sherman (12) is fouled on a lay-up attempt

Jalen Bridges led West Virginia’s scoring attack with 18 points, as he hit four of six 3-pointers. The sophomore from Fairmont, West Virginia, also contributed six rebounds and five blocked shots. Three other Mountaineers reached double figures in the scoring department, as Taz Sherman had 17, Sean McNeil 11 and Malik Curry 10.

Pitt had two players who scored in double figures – John Hugley with 17 and Mouhamadou Gueye with 10.

The Mountaineers will be back in action Thursday night when they face Elon at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 in Charleston, South Carolina, in the first round of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic. WVU will then play on Friday at 7:00 or 9:00 p.m., in Charleston against either Ole Miss or Marquette. The Shriners Children’s Classic will wrap up on Sunday at the TD Arena when West Virginia will meet St. Bonaventure, Temple, Boise State or Clemson.

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    West Virginia was dominant in its 100th all-time win over Pitt, punishing the Panthers, 74-59, Friday night at the WVU Coliseum. Pitt turned the baske
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    Okay that was an excellent defensive game of basketball by WVU!

    WVU forced 32 turnovers and had 17 steals and 11 blocks.  Kedrian Johnson with 7 steals is just incredible!

    Shooting above 50% and 40% from the 3pt stripe will bode well for a team that is not going to put up big rebounding numbers.  One way to negate that is steals and turnovers, so they don’t have a chance to rebound their own misses.

    Jalen Bridges it seemed had a quiet 18 points 6 rebounds and 5 blocks to lead the team in all of those categories.  Only shot the ball 9 times last night, wow.

    Free Throw percentage and Rebounding, the two most glaring statistics that need to get better, but in games like last night, it’s clear that WVU’s biggest strength is DEFENSE!

    Malik Curry with 10 point on 5-5 shooting, 3 assists, and 2 steals in only 12 minutes of playing time.  His drive and kick ability was on display and I’m VERY excited to see Curry continue to develop into a leadership position with this team.  He’s going to be critical to the success of this squad.

    Paulicaps, Carrigan, Gabe – These are the front court pounders, energy is there, I’d like to see more rebounding from these guys, but I thought Paulicaps brought some much needed low post and energy to the front court too.

    Isiaiah Cottrell – Really would like to see him step into a strong position, he has the size and talent, just still raw and I don’t want to see half his shots from 3 point range.  I’d like to see him comfortable getting fouled, getting to the free throw line and making a high percentage there.  Gone are the days of over half the scoring from the big men at the FT line.  Enjoy the contact, expect being fouled every time and the whistle never being blown, find a way to score regardless of contact.  Let’s GO!


    Nice game.  Always nice to put a beat down on Pitt


    Pitt is a shell of a program that we were used to seeing when Jamie ran the ship.


    Good coaching produces wins even with issues like being out rebounded. Truly shows what happens with leadership in the HC slot


    This may be the demise of Heather Lyke


    How many years will Pitt supporters put up with a coach that leads them to the bottom of the ACC?

    But in his defense he is getting better.  1st year T14th, 2nd year T 13th, 3rd year 12th in the ACC.  Steady improvement.



    Something different about WVU defensive pressure this year!? Best on man fundamentals I’ve seen for a while! Big men need work! This team, with the schedule at hand could very well go undefeated into Big12 schedule!


    I think we can do better than passive aggressive shots at one of our coaches in the form of applauding the other coach.  That’s not fair to Huggins either.

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Home Page forums WVU Punishes Pitt

Home Page forums WVU Punishes Pitt