The West Virginia Mountaineers suffered a disappointing 70-68 loss to No.2 Oklahoma on Saturday, and while the loss is hard to take, it shows that bright things are to come from this squad.
It signifies just what WVU is made of.
“We had a lot of toughness, senior Forward Jonathan Holton told the media after Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma. “We had stuck with it, and we had got down to it. This team is strong. This team fights hard and we are going to stay in a lot of games and we are going to bring a lot of pressure to you. But we just got to learn from mental mistakes and take care of the ball better and be humble.”
The Mountaineers’ veteran leaders are poised to keep the younger members of the team focused and positive during the trials and tests of the season.
“We got senior leadership like me and Jaysean,” Holton said. “And Dev (Devin Williams) is a junior. And we just go around the locker room, “Keep your head up, keep your head up.” We only lost two games this year. It could have been way more. But we got to stick together. We will see them again in Morgantown.”
The Mountaineers are not taking their recent success to their heads. WVU knows they have work to do on the court, especially after making mistakes in Saturday’s loss.
“We didn’t finish it,” senior guard Jaysean Paige said. “We aren’t one of those teams that are satisfied with losing, regardless if it’s a one point loss or an overtime loss. We are not really happy. We feel like we should of won the game. Certain mistakes kept us away, foul trouble and turning the ball over sometimes. Just not executing. We feel like if we would of executed we would of won this game.”
“We were still in the game all the way down to the wire as you seen,” junior guard Tarik Phillip said. “So it was just a couple mental lapses. We missed like 11 free throws or whatever it was from the free throw line. We were horrible. I think we shot 56 percent from the line. That tells a big tale right there.”
Even after a hard fought loss to the Sooners, members of the WVU basketball team are holding their heads high and preparing for the fight to come for the Big 12 crown.
“We still fight. We are always fighting as you seen. We was down seven or six points with a minute something to go, two minutes to go. We made plays to get ourselves back in the game. We just got to come away with that win and finish it off.”
Teyvon Myers and Esa Ahmad both took to Twitter on Saturday to say that while it was a tough loss, tomorrow brings a new day. Both players mentioned their love for their teammates.
WOULDNT TRADE MY GUYS FOR NOTHING IN THIS WORLD FLIGHT BACK TO MOTOWN THE LOSS WILL BE FORGOTTEN BY THE TIME WE LAND#PRESSV
— Teyvon myers (@KillacrossTey) January 17, 2016
Tough Loss but at the end of the day, we all we got. Love my gang! #PressVirginia
— Esa Ahmad (@IDoIt_Nike23) January 17, 2016
Don’t expect the Mountaineers to back away from the challenge anytime soon. WVU has its mind on a National Championship and the Mountaineers are determined to get there.
“We play hard, and we try and we compete. They are good guys that want to win and try to win. We’ve just got to somehow start making free throws,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said.