The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

November 12, 2013

WVU, Hokies renew rivalry today on ESPN

Game in Blacksburg, Va., part of Tip-Off Marathon

Anytime West Virginia and Virginia Tech get together in any sport, the excitement turns up a notch.

The two old rivals — former Big East conference mates — have seen each other few times over the last decade, after the Hokies joined the ACC in 2004, but the rivalry has not been forgotten.

It will be renewed today on the hardwood, when WVU and VT meet in front of an ESPN television audience at 1 p.m. as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon, which will include more than 24 consecutive hours of basketball on the various ESPN networks.

The Hokies (0-1) are in their second season under head coach James Johnson, who finished a disappointing 13-19, 4-14 in ACC play, in his debut season after a 7-0 start. Year No. 2 began with an embarrassing loss in the season opener, as Johnson’s club fell 64-63 to USC Upstate of the Atlantic Sun Conference Saturday in Cassell Coliseum.

Tech played the game without junior forward C.J. Barksdale, who was suspended for the first three games for “a violation of team rules.” Guard Marquis Rankin also sat out the game against the Spartans for what was termed “personal reasons.” No timetable for his return has been given.

The Hokies did find 17 points out of forward Cadarian Raines, all in the second half. Raines averaged 6.4 rebounds per game for Tech last season. Jarrell Eddie, the leading returning scorer at 12.3 points per game, led the team with 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds, but he missed a crucial free throw and had a shot blocked down the stretch.

“I don’t think there’s any question, they’ll come back with a lot more resolve,” said WVU head coach Bob Huggins of the Hokies’ early loss.

WVU (1-0) opened its season with a win on Friday, trying to put the memory of a 13-19 season — the third losing season of Huggins’ career — behind it with a 77-62 victory over Mount St. Mary’s.

Junior point guard Juwan Staten scored a career-high 22 points and also led the team in rebounds (5), assists (6) and steals (4).

“The best leaders I’ve ever had are leaders that lead by example and are the hardest workers in practice every day,” said Huggins. “They also know what we want, and (Staten’s) done a great job of that. He’s in the gym early and he stays late.”

Sophomore guard Eron Harris scored 19, freshman forward Nathan Adrian had 11 and fellow freshman Brandon Watkins chipped in 10.

A Mountaineer team that struggled to make shots last season, shot 56 percent from the field as Huggins picked up his 724th win to move into 18th place on the all-time NCAA Division I list.

“We’re fortunate that we made some shots, but as we all know, there’s going to be some games when those shots don’t go down,” said Huggins. “We’re going to have to stop people and keep them from getting second shots.”

n n n

WVU leads the all-time series between the Mountaineers and the Hokies, which began in 1921, 47-29. The teams met for the first time since 2004 last December, with WVU winning a 68-67 thriller in Morgantown. The Mountaineers’ last trip to Cassell Coliseum came in 2004, a 53-49 Hokie victory. Virginia Tech is 16-12 on its home floor against the Mountaineers.

— E-mail: chuffman@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo