The Mountaineers welcome Gonzaga to frigid Morgantown on Tuesday night after losing 80-71 on Thursday to the Missouri Tigers.
It was a tough night shooting the ball for WVU, and the performance in general was not pretty. Juwan Staten said he and his teammates lacked focus in the first half.
"We came out flat," said Staten. "That was a result of not being focused."
The Mountaineers went into the game against Missouri averaging 89 points per game, but only managed to put up 71 against the Tigers. While this is only 18 points below the season average, most of those 71 points came in a late surge by WVU in the final four minutes of the game.
The size of Missouri seemed to bother both Juwan Staten and Eron Harris on Thursday night, and as a result both were held in check by the Tigers. Staten (16) and Harris (8) combined for just 24 points, their lowest combine total of the season. Meanwhile, Jordan Clarkson had a career night against the Mountaineers scoring 25 points.
WVU will now welcome to Gonzaga Bulldogs to the WVU Coliseum. The Bulldogs come into this season's matchup as No. 19 in the AP Top 25 poll.
The two teams met last season in Spokane. Gonzaga had their way from start to finish, winning by a final score of 84-50. That game seemed to write the season story for the Mountaineers as WVU would go on to a 13-19 season, and finish the campaign with a seven game losing streak.
The Mountaineers have the chance to pick up a quality win against Gonzaga. WVU has been unsuccessful in three tries of getting a signature win for their tournament resume.
Coach Huggins hopes the fans will come out and support the Mountaineers in full force on Tuesday.
"Excited about the response for a big crowd on Tuesday night you all need to be a HUGE part of helping us WIN!! GO EERS!"
Huggins has also been encourages the past couple of days with the team's focus in practice.
"Good couple days of practice," said Huggins. "One more day to get ready for the Zags."
If the Mountaineers want to pull off the upset, both Staten and Harris must have big games. The crowd will not be enough to knock off the Bulldogs who are used to playing in front of sold out crowds at home. Freshman Devin Williams will also play a big factor against a very athletic and physical Gonzaga team. Whoever wins the rebound battle will win this game.
This game will come down to the team who has more heart. After coming off a tough loss to Missouri on Thursday, it will be interesting to see how much energy the Mountaineers come out with on Tuesday. WVU also suffered a tough loss in Spokane last season, and will want revenge for their poor outing at Gonzaga.
The Bulldogs and Mountaineers are set to tip-off at 9 p.m. on Tuesday night at the WVU Coliseum. The game will be broadcasted by ESPN2.