The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


January 12, 2010

Mountaineers looking to bounce back tonight

West Virginia will try to bounce back from a 70-68 loss at Notre Dame when it visits Big East foe South Florida tonight at 7 o’clock.

The game will be shown locally on WOAY-TV.

South Florida is searching for its first conference win after falling to Notre Dame, Louisville and Syracuse. The Bulls are 10-5 overall.

“We need wins and wins are not easy to come by in this league,” South Florida coach Stan Heath said.

WVU coach Bob Huggins concurs.

“In this league, you have to play for 40 minutes and we didn’t play for 40 minutes,” Huggins said after his team fell to Notre Dame. “With that being said, we still had a chance to win the game.”

His team, despite falling behind 20-4 and 45-25 at the half, fought back and had a chance to tie the game or win it, but Da’Sean Butler’s three missed at the end.

It was the Mountaineers’ first loss in conference play. No. 10 West Virginia is 12-2 overall and currently third in the Big East at 3-1.

The Bulls are led by 6-foot-4 junior guard Dominique Jones, who is averaging 18.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. He had 30 points in an 82-65 loss to No. 5 Syracuse.

Jarrid Famous, a 6-11 center, is averaging 11.2 and 7.8 rebounds. Other starters are 6-3 senior guard Chris Howard (9.5 ppg), 6-5 senior forward Mike Mercer (8 ppg) and 6-8 freshman forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (4.7ppg).

Obviously, South Florida is a guard-oriented team, at least on the offensive end, and West Virginia is led by a trio of talented forwards in 6-7 senior Butler, 6-8 sophomore Kevin Jones and 6-9 sophomore Devin Ebanks.

West Virginia is led by Butler, who is averaging 16.2 ppg and 6.2 rebounds. Jones is next at 15.8 and Ebanks is averaging 12 points and eight rebounds per game. Sophomore point guard Truck Bryant, who has rejoined the starting lineup, averages 9.4 ppg and 3.3 assists. Butler leads the team with 3.4 assists per game.

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