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WVU Had To Start Somewhere

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MORGANTOWN -

Gonzaga has West Virginia's number. There is no other way to put it after Gonzaga beat WVU for the second time in as many West Virginia games.

Gonzaga eliminated WVU from the NCAA tournament in March 77-54. It was worse on Tuesday as Gonzaga knocked off West Virginia 84-50.

"The first thing I think we got to do is find out who wants to play and who really doesn't want to play," Huggins said on the MSN postgame show.

Fortunately for Head Coach Bob Huggins and West Virginia, it only counts as one loss. It needs to also count as one big learning experience.

Huggins said before this game, "We will find out how good we are or how bad we are. I would rather do that than play five games and win easily, which masks your problems."

Huggins went through a similar situation in a season opener in one of his last seasons at Cincinnati, "In 2002 I think, we played Oklahoma State and lost by nine or 11, it seemed like 106 the way we played and we had some soul searching and won 21 games in a row. We knew what we had to fix."

West Virginia was certainly exposed in many ways. The good news is that WVU did most of this to itself. West Virginia turned the ball over 18 times and made just 15 field goals.

Shooting was atrocious. West Virginia shot just 27 percent from the field. WVU made just three of 26 three-point field goals or 11.5 percent.

Certainly Bob Huggins needs some time to figure out what he has on this team and who can help him.

"We are just not transferring what we do in drills to playing the game," Huggins stated. "We don't play the game the right way. We don't make an extra pass. We are either incapable of passing the ball or just don't want to."

Figuring out who can help was made more difficult by the amount of fouls called in this game. West Virginia and Gonzaga combined for 52 fouls. Deniz Kilicli and Kevin Noreen both fouled out.

Aaric Murray and Jabarie Hinds were the only players able to shoot the ball well. They combined to go nine of 18 from the field and scored 23 points between them.

There were multiple issues in this one. Outside of the foul trouble, West Virginia turned it over way too much. 15 of their 18 turnovers occurred in the first half. WVU also settled for way too many three-point attempts by taking 26 of them and making just three.

WVU also made some mistakes in judgment on defense. Multiple times a WVU defender went for a steal and missed leaving Gonzaga with an open jumper.

"If they continue to overrun the basketball they may want to go out for cross country because I am going to run them on the treadmill nonstop," Huggins said.

Huggins hates to lose. It wears on him and also fuels him to correct what is wrong. WVU has ten days to fix these problems before it opens the Old Spice Classic against Marist on Thanksgiving.

"We're going to fix it," Huggins stated. "It's embarrassing. I care way too much about the University, the program and the state for this to happen. I have to fix it and it is all on me. I have to find a way to fix it and I will find a way to fix it."

West Virginia Forward Dom Rutledge did not play in this game. WVU is not saying why right now.

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