Harris scores career-high 19, Mountaineers end three-game losing streak
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 08:01
It wasn’t pretty, but West Virginia got a win it desperately needed.
The Mountaineers (9-9, 2-3) ended their three-game losing streak with a 71-50 victory against visiting TCU (9-10, 0-6) Wednesday night in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
A crowd of 7,094 took in the action at the Coliseum – the smallest for a WVU home conference game since Jan. 28, 2009.
Freshman guard Eron Harris scored a career-high 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while senior forward Deniz Kilicli and sophomore guard Jabarie Hinds chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Despite the win, West Virginia had a sloppy outing, shooting just 56 percent from the free-throw line and 43 percent from the field.
"I guess after all these years, I’ve learned you don’t give them back when you win one, but I’m not very happy," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins. "I thought we played really, really hard. I thought defensively, we did the things that we’ve done for a long time. But in the second half, we stopped guarding, which is what we do."
The key to victory for West Virginia was forcing 17 TCU turnovers, resulting in 20 Mountaineer points.
WVU used pressure defense throughout the entire game, taking advantage of something they saw on film.
"We wanted to just put pressure on their guards and make them uncomfortable," Hinds said. "We needed a win so we can try to get the roll going. And it started tonight with this win, so that’s a good thing."
Harris was the go-to guy on the offensive end of the floor, playing his best game of the season.
The Indianapolis native has now scored in double figures in three consecutive games.
For the freshman, it has just been a matter of getting reps within the offense.
"I’m just playing ball now, like I have since I was three years old. But just inside the offense," Harris said. "When I get it and I see a lane, I take it."
The Mountaineers also outrebounded TCU 42-30 on the boards, including 19 offensive rebounds.
Huggins, though, feels the amount of misses the Mountaineers shot is the catalyst for that statistic.
"There are 21 teams that shoot worse than us in the entire country, so we give ourselves a lot of chances," he said. "When you’re the No. 21 worst-shooting team in America, you’ve got to play hard."
TCU was led by Kyan Anderson’s 19 points, but the Horned Frogs made only 17 field goals in the game
West Virginia is entering a crucial stretch of its schedule beginning Saturday at Oklahoma State before returning home to face potentially top-ranked Kansas Monday.
This win is something the Mountaineers hope to build on, though.
"We need to stay focused," Hinds said. "It’s a win; now it’s in the past. We need to look forward to Oklahoma State Saturday."