MORGANTOWN — No. 25 Penn State had no solutions Monday. West Virginia now has one large query: Are these Mountaineers for actual?
The Nittany Lions definitely can’t argue in any other case, not after getting run out of the Coliseum to the tune of an 83-65 beating that generally felt prefer it wasn’t even that shut.
“It was an excellent consequence,” WVU head coach Mark Kellogg mentioned. “I believed our effort, our power was phenomenal from the bounce. I had seen spurts of that all through the season, however we hadn’t put all of it collectively.
“I’m simply actually happy with them. They labored actually onerous.”
WVU (8-0) ended a six-game shedding streak in opposition to Penn State (7-2), selecting up its first victory in opposition to the Nittany Lions since 1989.
How did all of it come so simply?
Properly, Penn State merely had no counterpunch for West Virginia’s stress protection, which produced 26 turnovers and 18 steals.
Or for WVU star guard J.J. Quinerly (22 factors) and positively not for the Mountaineers’ willingness to share the ball and rating in transition.
“I don’t know if it was straightforward,” mentioned WVU guard Lauren Fields, who related on 4 3-pointers, together with one from 40 ft away. “The most important factor was we performed with effort. On the finish of the sport wanting again, you may inform we performed tougher than they did.”
In profitable its first seven video games by a median of practically 27 factors per sport, the doubts nonetheless remained because of the degree of competitors WVU confronted in these video games.
No extra. Not after selecting aside a Penn State crew that had simply joined the AP Prime 25 rankings earlier within the day and narrowly misplaced to No. 6 USC by one level earlier within the season.
“I really feel prefer it provides us numerous confidence,” mentioned WVU guard Jordan Harrison, who completed with 14 factors, 9 assists and 6 steals. “We knew we may do it if given the chance. It’s undoubtedly a confidence booster, contemplating our schedule hasn’t been that robust.
“We confirmed people who we’re good, we’re simply not smacking round these not-so-good groups. We really compete in opposition to higher groups.”
WVU completed with 21 assists on its 28 baskets, whereas capturing 46% for the sport.
In the meantime, Penn State guards Makenna Marisa and Shay Ciezki — they mixed to common 32 factors per sport — had been held to simply eight.
Ciezki didn’t rating a single level and dedicated three turnovers. Marisa was held to single digits in scoring for the primary time this season.
“The crew knew about these two guards, so we wished to close them down,” Harrison mentioned. “They didn’t actually have a lot success and I believe we executed rather well.”
It was WVU’s first win in opposition to a high 25 ranked crew since final February, when the Mountaineers beat then-No. 21 Iowa State.
However this was the primary one for Kellogg, who simply took over this system 9 months in the past after coming over from Stephen F. Austin.
He was fast to defer any credit score for a way rapidly he’s introduced issues collectively at WVU, making it about his gamers’ accomplishments as an alternative.
Nonetheless, he’s simply eight video games into his teaching profession at his first Energy 5 Convention college, and, properly, up to now so good.
“To see that efficiency eight video games in is fairly particular. I believe we’ve come a good distance in a brief time frame,” Kellogg mentioned. “I instructed them within the locker room that I hope this isn’t the win we speak about late within the yr. I hope it’s not the one Prime 25 win. I hope there are much more coming.”
WVU started to tug away within the second quarter by forcing one turnover after the opposite and turning them into fast-break factors the opposite means.
Penn State did climb again into it within the fourth quarter, getting as shut as 74-62, however then Quinerly related on two free throws and Harrison nailed considered one of WVU’s eight 3-pointers to seal the deal.
WVU scored 31 factors off the 26 turnovers compelled, had 38 factors within the paint and 25 extra on quick breaks. The 18 steals tied a season excessive for the Mountaineers.
Kyah Watson added 15 factors for WVU and Tavy Diggs got here off the bench so as to add 10 extra to go together with 4 rebounds.
“I don’t know that it surprises me,” Kellogg mentioned. “I used to be wishful for it, hoping for it. I hoped my crew would present me one thing I simply haven’t seen. Till you see it along with your eyes and undergo these experiences, I don’t know.
“We haven’t gone by way of this. That is sport eight for us. I trusted them a bit of bit. I don’t know that I anticipated it to be this early, however I’m definitely grateful and so they deserved it.”