Men's Basketball: West Virginia vs. Notre Dame Game Recap - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Men's Basketball: West Virginia vs. Notre Dame Game Recap

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Nick Arthur, Morgantown -

For the second-consecutive game, the Mountaineers trailed by double digits at the half. But this time, they were unable to come away with a victory.

Jack Cooley scored 21 points and West Virginia shot just 24 percent from the field in the first half while falling to Notre Dame 55-51 on Wednesday night at the Coliseum.

West Virginia has now lost back-to-back home games for the first time since 2008.

"It was a real bad team loss because I felt like we had the game going the way we wanted to," said West Virginia forward Kevin Jones.

The Mountaineers led by three with less than three minutes to play before Notre Dame hit three straight three-pointers to secure the win.

"They were 2-18 from three, then they made three in a row," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins. "They made shots. We didn't make shots."

Both teams struggled from the field early in the first half. West Virginia missed 16 of its first 20 shots, while Notre Dame was off the mark on 16 of its first 22.

A 9-0 run and aggressive play by Notre Dame's Jack Cooley helped the Irish grab a 19-12 advantage late in the first half.

The Mountaineers finished just 7-29 from the floor in the first half and trailed 26-16 at halftime.

West Virginia's 16 first-half points marked its lowest in that category this season.

"They make you pay for making mistakes," Jones said. "We had a lot of them at the beginning. That's why we were down ten going into halftime.

Junior forward Deniz Kilicli and freshman guard Jabarie Hinds anchored the West Virginia offense to begin the second half. The two scored the first ten points for the Mountaineers and cut the deficit to six with 16 minutes remaining in the game.

Hinds and Kilicli continued to carry the load. In fact, it wasn't until Kevin Jones made a layup with 10:17 to play that a player other than Hinds or Kilicli scored in the second half.

Despite the lack of offensive production, the Mountaineers still only trailed 38-36 with eight minutes left to play.

"They shortened the game," Huggins said. "That's a good strategy for them."

Jones nailed a three-pointer with five minutes remaining to give West Virginia its first lead, 41-40, since early in the first half.

After the home team had grabbed a three-point lead, Notre Dame hit back-to-back-to-back three-pointers and held a 51-45 advantage with one minute remaining in the game to earn the victory.

West Virginia senior guard Truck Bryant had 32 points including the game-winning three-pointer in the last outing against Providence. But missed all six of his shots on Wednesday night and was held scoreless.

Kevin Jones was attempting to tie the school record for most consecutive games of at least 20 points with 10, but finished six points shy with 14. 

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