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WVU Pushes No. 1 Gonzaga To the Limit, but Fell Short

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – (December 2, 2020) — The No. 11-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers were defeated by the No. 1-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs to give WVU their first loss of the season in the Jimmy V Class in Indianapolis.

West Virginia gave it their all against the best team in the country, leading most of the game. Foul trouble by Oscar Tshiebwe, Derek Culver and Gabe Osabuohien limited the Mountaineers doing what they wanted to do.

A big story throughout the game was the ankle injury of Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs. Suggs went down with seven minutes to go in the first half and it didn’t look good.

Suggs returned early in the second half and got the Bulldogs’ offense back on their A-game.

A stat that stood out was the 60 points that Gonzaga scored in the paint. WVU coach Bob Huggins was disappointed with the interior defense.

“They got 60 points in the paint and their perimeter guys scored a ton of them, and that’s unacceptable,” Huggins said.

Culver led the Mountaineers with 18 points on 6-of-11 from the field. The junior had 15 rebounds as well.

Tshiebwe finished the game with 14, despite being in foul trouble for most of the game. The Congo native fouled out of the game with seven minutes left in the contest.

Osabuohien played extremely well on Wednesday night shooting perfect from the field and drawing charges on defense. The Arkansas transfer shot 3-of-3 from the field and from the free-throw line.

Osabuohien fouled out with a few minutes left in the game.

Once Tshiebwe fouled out, coach Huggins went with freshman Isaiah Cottrell for the majority of the second half. The 6’10” forward recorded six points, a rebound, an assist, a block and a steal.

Coach Huggins noted a lot that his team needs to improve on for future games.

“We had every opportunity in the world to come out of here with a win and we kind of gave it away,” Huggins said. “Missed free throws, missed layups, turning the ball over without being pressured, not throwing the ball to open people.”

“We’ve got a lot of things to fix,” Huggins added.

The West Virginia Mountaineers will get a couple of days to prepare for battle with an old Big East foe in the Georgetown Hoyas. Coverage will be on Fox Sports One at 4:30 P.M.

Photo Credit: WVU Sports

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