Men's Basketball: WVU vs.Marquette Game Recap - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Men's Basketball: WVU vs.Marquette Game Recap

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Nick Arthur, Morgantown -

Marquette erased an 11-point halftime deficit and handed West Virginia its fourth-consecutive home loss with a 61-60 victory on Friday night at the Coliseum.

The Mountaineers fell to 17-12 overall and 7-9 in Big East Conference play.

"We're just not very consistent. We're not consistent in our effort," said West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins. "We're not consistent in our daily approach with what's got to happen."

West Virginia's recent struggles in the second half continued, as the Mountaineers were outscored 40-28 after halftime.

"You have to credit them. They're a tough team to win in an environment like this," said West Virginia senior forward Kevin Jones. "That's why they are one of the top teams in the Big East right now."

Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom, Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue were all suspended for the first half due to violation of team rules.

The absence of the three normal starters was evident as sloppy play by both teams early in the first half led to multiple turnovers.

Marquette, however, made five of its first seven shots to keep the game close.

Inspired play by Mountaineers helped them grab a first-half advantage, despite playing the final five minutes of the half without senior forward Kevin Jones.

Jones was on the bench with two fouls.

Without Jones, senior guard Truck Bryant carried the load. Bryant's 15 first-half points helped West Virginia hold a 32-21 lead at the half.

Jones picked up his third foul just 36 seconds into the second half, but stayed in the game.

The three suspended Marquette players immediately made an impact to begin the second half.

The Golden Eagles began to find a rhythm offensively and had the lead cut to 39-34 with 12:11 to play.

Bryant continued to receive very little scoring help, while scoring 20 of the West Virginia first 39 points.

Marquette continued to chip away at the lead and only trailed by three, 45-42, with 8:15 remaining in the game.

"There were opportunities where we could have slowed the game down, but we didn't," Jones said. "We took bad shots."

The game was tied at 48 apiece with 5:37 to play, after yet another layup by Marquette in transition.

The game began to pick up pace in the final stretch, as multiple lead changes occurred.

The Golden Eagles grabbed their largest lead of the game, 56-53, with less than four minutes remaining.

"We don't play the whole game," Huggins said. "We take plays off."

The Mountaineers trailed 61-60 with 6.6 seconds remaining and held possession.

A desperate heave from Bryant was off the mark to end the game.

"I got an opportunity to make a play and I missed the shot," Bryant said. "We still had a lot of opportunities tonight."

Bryant finished with 25 points.

Marquette's Jae Crowder led all scorers with 26 points. 

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