It is safe to say over the past seven games, West Virginia has not caught many breaks. However; despite the lack of success, West Virginia’s opportunity is still in front of them and they believe they can still turn things around.
A seven-game losing streak is never pretty. Combine it with the fact your best player got hurt when you had the chance to beat the No. 8 team in the country on the road and it adds insult to injury.
The Mountaineers’ last win came on Jan. 11 against Oklahoma State in a 70-60 win at home. One month later and West Virginia has lost seven games in a row, including losing five of those games by 10 points or less. Currently at 2-7 in conference play, West Virginia is aware they are at the bottom looking up at the rest of the Big 12.
“I would think showing them the standings would do it. I mean it would for me,” West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said on West Virginia continuing to stay in games and play hard. “They know where they are, it’s just been a tough year. We’re on the verge of beating Baylor and Taz (Sherman) gets knocked out and we just haven’t had a great year all around.”
The last two games have epitomized the losing streak, and the season for the Mountaineers.
Against Baylor, West Virginia led and then their leading scorer in Sherman was hit on his head and has been out with a concussion since. Baylor would be able to put enough stops together late, sealing the victory over West Virginia.
This past Saturday, the Mountaineers made only four shots the entire second half. Despite the lack of offensive execution, West Virginia trailed by only three points with less than four minutes left, and had two straight possessions with the opportunity to tie the game.
“We’ve played exceptionally hard I think the last two games,” Huggins said.
Despite dropping seven games in a row, West Virginia still has a chance at making the postseason.
The Mountaineers have nine games left before the Big 12 Tournament, and eight of those nine are against what is considered to be a “Quadrant 1” team. In addition, eight of West Virginia’s nine losses have been against “Quadrant 1” teams.
Without having had a bad loss, West Virginia is still somewhat in control of their own destiny. The Mountaineers have four home games remaining, and have to go on the road to the teams who are currently ranked in the bottom half of the Big 12.
From this point on, West Virginia’s margin of error is slim to none, making Tuesday’s game against Iowa State — who scored only 43 points on Saturday, that much more important.
Photo by Dale Sparks, All-Pro Photography