Mountaineers Treat First Loss as ‘Eye-Opener’
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After suffering a sloppy 70-68 loss to St. John’s ok Saturday, the WVU basketball team is looking for a bounce-back performance against Austin Peay Thursday.
The Mountaineers entered the game 7-0 on the season, but committed 22 turnovers and 22 personal fouls against the Red Storm.
Bob Huggins said the team made too many mistakes on Saturday.
“We’ve been in some hard games, we were in some hard games in Cancun, and they fought through things,” Huggins said. “We can’t for 5-12 from the foul line. We missed 10, 12 point-blank one footers. You miss shots sometimes and that’s understandable, but I don’t know about missing that many of those.”
Huggins said the team did not properly prepare for the game and taking the loss could teach them a lesson.
“They were hurt,” Huggins said about the loss. “They’ve been really good in practice. They want to be good and they want to represent this university in the form and fashion that it ought to be represented.”
Sophomore forward Derek Culver said losing now is better than if the team had continued to win.
“We don’t want to keep piling on wins, piling on wins but there’s insecurities in those win, kinks and wrinkles we haven’t worked out,” Culver said. “So we get to a certain opponent who exposes those. Us taking this loss was an eye-opener so we can work on those mistakes we have in our games.”
Sophomore guard Sean McNeil said the loss has helped the team learn more about themselves and they have practiced better this week.
“The past few days in practice we’ve gotten a lot better, we’ve learned from our mistakes and losing that game,” McNeil said. “We shoot the ball well in practice it’s just not translating in the game right now, but it will.”
On Thursday the team will take on a 4-4 Austin Peay squad that has yet to win on the road this season. The Governors are led by junior forward Terry Taylor who is averaging 22.5 points per game this season.
Tip-off from the WVU Coliseum will be at 7 p.m.