Saturday , Feb , 17 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Mountaineers and Pirates slug it out in Morgantown

Morgantown, WV (Sports Network) – The 23rd-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers
try to rebound from a disappointing performance on Monday, as they host the
Seton Hall Pirates in Big East play from Morgantown today.

On Monday, the Mountaineers took on a red-hot Georgetown club and they
proved to be no match in a 71-53 setback to the Hoyas. It was quite a
disappointing showing by WVU, which had moved into the top-25 after upsetting
then second-ranked UCLA just a couple days earlier. The team has now dropped
two of its last three outings, with all three games coming against nationally-
ranked opponents. Still, the Mountaineers stand at a solid 19-6 overall and 7-5
in league play, as they now return back home where they have gone a solid 12-1
thus far.

As for SHU, it has started to fade away, losing three straight and six of its
last seven contests. The team was last in play on Wednesday, when it suffered
a 67-55 setback at Connecticut. With the loss, the Pirates dipped to an even
12-12 overall and a dismal 3-8 in league play.

SHU leads the all-time series with WVU, 11-10, although the Mountaineers
defeated the Pirates, 81-70, just two weeks ago.

The Pirates shot a horrid 28.8 percent from the field and made only 3-of-16
three pointers, as they suffered a 12-point loss at UConn on Wednesday. Brian
Laing paced the team in defeat with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Eugene
Harvey posted 10 points and five assists. On the season, Laing leads the team
in scoring (16.0 ppg) as well as rebounding (6.5 rpg), and he also has 43
steals to his name. Harvey adds 15.7 ppg and a team-high 4.3 apg for SHU,
while Jamar Nutter chips in with 12.5 ppg. As a team, the Pirates are
averaging 75.0 ppg behind 42.1 percent shooting from the field this season.

The Mountaineers have fared well at both ends of the court this season, as
they are averaging 71.4 ppg on the strength of 37.0 percent shooting from
three-point range, while holding their opponents to a mere 59.0 ppg and only
28.4 percent shooting from long distance. Frank Young currently leads the team
in scoring with 14.1 ppg and he is making good on 40.6 percent of his three-
point attempts. Joe Alexander contributes 12.1 ppg and a team-best 4.6 rpg for
WVU, while Da’Sean Butler chips in with 10.1 ppg off the bench. In the squad’s
last outing, the Mountaineers shot a subpar 38.5 percent from the field and
turned the ball over 15 times in an 18-point loss to Georgetown. Alexander and
Darris Nichols each scored 10 points to guide the team in defeat.