Fort Worth, TX. – The Mountaineers made another trip to Texas to take on the Horned Frogs of TCU Saturday and quite frankly, lost. The Mountaineers defeated the Horned Frogs in January at home by 32 points and today fell short in a truly heartbreaking loss.
The Mountaineers started off their afternoon in Fort Worth with a slow start, taking just over two minutes to get the ball into the basket. Once the Mountaineers got going, they were able to make several scoring runs and the Horned Frogs would go several minutes without scoring.
The starting lineup for West Virginia was the same as Tuesday’s home win crew; with former starter Derek Culver coming off the bench. Bench points have long been a strength for Huggins’s crews and Saturday’s game was no different. Culver scored a third of the first half points off the bench as the Mountaineers headed to the locker room marginally leading 31-29.
In a game officiated by every West Virginia fan’s favorite ref, John Higgins, the Mountaineers made it through the first twenty minutes of basketball with just four fouls called. Four. Fouls. The Horned Frogs finished the half with eight fouls called. The Mountaineers left Fort Worth with a loss, but somehow only managed to have 12 fouls called on them the entire game.
From the start of the second half, it was another game you wanted to watch between finger-covered eyes.
An abysmal start for West Virginia, losing their lead and going down 35-33 with 17:30 in the game as the first commercial break of the second half took place, it seemed as if West Virginia was willing to throw the game away with missed baskets and moments of “what the heck.” As the second half blues continued to plague the Mountaineers early on in the half, Culver found himself hobbling to the bench with some sort of ankle injury. For most of the first ten minutes of the second half, the concept of making a basket was a difficult foreign language to the Mountaineers. Luckily for the good guys, Culver made his way back to the court and finished the game with 18 points.
With a chance to win, the Mountaineers missed a shot, the Horned Frogs went down the court with a rebound and then the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes as John Higgins called a questionable charge call on TCU and sent the game to overtime. Unfortunately for everyone cheering on the Old Gold and Blue, that momentary thank you to Higgins was not enough to bring home the win. The Mountaineers fell to TCU in true heartbreak fashion; 67-60.
The Mountaineers have been notoriously bad on the road this season, albeit leaps and bounds better than last season as a whole but the Mountaineers showed a great amount of promise and effort in the first half Saturday afternoon.
Falling to 7-7 in the conference and five conference losses on the road, the Mountaineers will stay in the great state of Texas, channeling their inner Pat Green “head southbound on 35 with Texas on their mind.”