Posted March 23rd, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, Live

With Duke now out of the tournament, the road to the Final Four for whichever team wins this game just got a little easier. This game matches up two very different teams. While Texas needs the three to be dominant, [tag]West Virginia[/tag]’s entire game relies on the outside shot. Texas will spend much of the game in a man-to-man defense to attempt to give WVU’s shooters as few open looks as possible, while the Horns will attempt to dominate on the offensive and defensive boards.

Should be an entertaining game.

First Half
  • Good dish by LaMarcus Aldridge to find PJ Tucker underneath the basket. Good start and great to see the ball inside to Tucker early.
  • Kevin Pittsnogle‘s first three goes all the way around the rim before rattling out. A good sign?
  • I guess it wasn’t much of an omen. Pittsnogle’s next two threes go down easily to give WVU the lead.
West Virginia 9, Texas 6
  • Horns playing good defense and moving the ball nicely on offense. No wide open looks so far for WVU and several easy dunk/layups for the Horns.
  • We need to be a little more careful with the basketball. Not too bad, but a couple unforced turnovers so far. I wonder if/when the Mountaineers plan on playing any full court defense.
West Virginia 9, Texas 10
  • Darn, I thought we were going to be announcer-free for a second.
  • Ouch. PJ takes it to the hoop and hits the ground very hard.
  • Kenton Paulino had time and an opening to get rid of the ball on the trap but holds on to for too long. Luckily WVU gets called for the touch foul.
  • Big fast break dunk for Tucker. 9 points already for him.
  • Ahhhh! I hate playing good three point shooting teams. Good defense all around and Patrick Beilein nails the 3.
  • Pittsnogle flops and they call the foul on Aldridge. If they’re going to call that amount of contact then the whistle should blow on every possession.
West Virginia 15, Texas 19
  • Less than eight minutes to play and again the announcers are unaware we’re back from commercial.
  • Aldrige is stroking it from midrange.
  • Great steal by AJ Abrams. Shoot, he’s limping now. He said “f***” as he started to jog back up court and reached down towards his legs.
West Virginia 15, Texas 23
  • How much longer is Napolean Dynamite going to play Napolean Dynamite? Memo to actors in Hollywood: If you see Rob Schneider’s name associated with a movie run away! Bench Warmers looks awful.
  • West Virginia has yet to make a two-point shot and Texas has yet to hit a three.
  • Nevermind. Daniel Gibson nails one. Let’s hope he gets going, we’re up now but we’ll need outside shooters hitting to win this game.
  • How is that a foul on AJ Abrams? Yikes.
  • Great move and decision by Mike Williams. Passed up a long jumper and drives for the easy hoop. Exactly what Brad Buckman needs to do. His midrange shot is off, put the ball on the floor and look to pass or find an easier shot.

West Virginia 22, Texas 30
  • Applebee’s commercial makes me want to take my own life, or possibly the lives of those responsible for putting that commercial on the air over and over again.
  • Three minutes left in the half and Williams gets another rebound and easy two points. Great work by Mike.
  • JD Lewis in the game. Let’s hope he can play a couple solid minutes, must be tough keeping sharp with the limited minutes he’s played the last month.
  • Oh great tip in by Aldridge on Paulino’s miss.
West Virginia 25, Texas 37
  • CBS named a show The Unit, that’s funny.
  • With less than four seconds to go, West Virginia gets their first two-point bucket of the half. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before.
West Virginia 27, Texas 39

Texas goes into halftime with a 12-point lead and having played a very good half of basketball. Excellent defense as the Horns have forced several turnovers, picked up a few steals, and gotten a hand in the face of most of the Mountaineers’ outside shots. Inside the three-point line the Horns have contested almost every shot and gotten a piece of a good number of them as well. Because they’re forcing WVU to take tough outside shots, the Horns have picked up all but one defensive rebound.

On the offensive end, LaMarcus Aldridge has literally played perfect basketball. He’s eight for eight from the field showing great touch on the midrange jumper and putting back a couple of easy baskets as well. We’re running a lively and effective offense, moving the ball around the perimeter well and doing a good job getting the ball inside to Aldridge and PJ Tucker. Mike Williams has also contributed big time with 5 rebounds and 4 points off the bench. The Horns are only 2 for 8 from long range, but Daniel Gibson and AJ Abrams both hit from three in the closing minutes of the half and looked to be on target.

In the second half, Texas has to continue contesting every shot and hitting the glass hard. Play tough defense while keeping Aldridge and Tucker out of foul trouble, and be prepared for some sort of press or trapping defense in this half from West Virginia to try to swing the momentum.

Second Half
  • Is pontiac.com that hard to remember? Why are you telling me to “Google Pontiac”?
  • Texas needs to come out strong in this half and not let them back in this game.
  • And as I say that WVU scores 8 quick points. Crap. Tucker looked like he was fouled two possessions in a row with no call.
  • Almost two and a half minutes into the half no points for the Horns.
  • Wow, the arena looks half empty. I guess Duke fans went home to cry.
  • And yet another reason I hate basketball officiating. Gibson and Mike Gansey tangled up and the ref flips a coin and decides to call a foul on Gibson on the play.
West Virginia 35, Texas 40
  • Man Burger King commercials are terrible and creepy now. The football ones with “The King” were awesome, these not so much.
  • Gibson picks up his third foul and heads to the bench.
West Virginia 37, Texas 40
  • Four minutes into the second half and Texas only has a single point in the half. We need to settle down on offense and go back to what we were doing in the first half. Get Aldridge the basketball.
  • Larry the Cable Guy may be the least funny human on the planet. And nothing about him says “cable guy.” More like janitor or out of work plumber. I guess those aren’t as catchy.
  • Abrams hits the jumper. His four-point play against NC State turned that game back around, maybe that shot will do the same again tonight.
  • Aldridge back involved on offense. Big dunk.
  • Important three from Paulino.
  • Texas looks out of whack on both ends. Picking up stupid fouls on defense (Tucker has three now) and taking quick long shots on offense.
West Virginia 47, Texas 49
  • Look at Mike Williams. The light has come on ladies and gentleman for the young man. Twelve minutes left.
  • Mike freaking Williams again. But then we give WVU a wide open 3 on the other end. Crap.
  • Aldridge is having a monster game, keep feeding him the ball.
West Virginia 58, Texas 58
  • Hey jerk, I’m just guessing the dude’s promotion and raise will let him afford $30 per month for DirecTV. You lose so shut up.
  • Six and a half minutes left in the game and we’re tied at 61.
  • Horns get off about 6 shots and keep getting offensive rebounds but can’t get the damn ball in the basket. Gibson and Abrams both had wide open threes barely roll out.
West Virginia 61, Texas 65
  • West Virginia’s mascot appears to be a homeless dude.
  • Was LSU’s win that stunning? A lot of people were picking them to win including me in both of my brackets.
West Virginia 63, Texas 65
  • Does anyone really have that much trouble with dropped cell phone calls? I have T-Mobile and I can’t remember the last time I had a call dropped.
  • Can anyone else hear this “Greg” who I’m assuming is the sideline reporter? I’ve yet to hear him when they go to him after any of these breaks.
  • Two minutes to go and Texas up two.
  • They finally called West Virginia for holding Aldridge while he tries to get a rebound.
  • Ouch Pittsnogle’s nose is bleeding pretty bad.
  • West Virginia has attempted to kick every single Texas pass tonight.
  • Texas up 3 with 26 seconds to go.
  • Abrams hits two free throws to put Texas up 5. Good defense forces WVU to use a good chunk of time and take a long three but Gansey nails it.
West Virginia 68, Texas 70
  • Holy crap. Once again we can’t inbounds the ball when the full court press is on and have to use a timeout. How many do we have left? We might need one when the trap comes. Two timeouts left.
  • Aldridge hits one of two and then Texas wastes a timeout. 14 seconds to go.
West Virginia 68, Texas 71
  • Paulino hit it! Paulino hit it! Paulino hit the three! Texas wins! Texas wins!
  • Pittsnogle had hit a tough, deep three with about 5 seconds left to tie the game. Texas elects not to use a timeout and pushes the ball up the court. Abrams gets the ball to Paulino, who despite having to extend to grab the pass and adjust his shot in midair to avoid the defender hits the game winning three pointer with less than a minute to go.
West Virginia 71, Texas 74
Final Thoughts

Whew. What a fantastic game. Texas is moving on to the Elite 8 and they certainly owned it. After playing a flawless first twenty minutes the Longhorns got in a little rut to start the second half (again) and had to pull off the miracle finish for the win.

LaMarcus Aldridge clearly game to play tonight and was absolutely dominant on both ends of the floor throughout the night. He put up 26 points… (excuse me while I watch the last minute of Gonzaga versus UCLA… Zags blew huge lead and now Adam Morrison is going to cry… UCLA comes back from like 17 down and wins in last few seconds… Morrison’s 5 year old antics make me root against him…)

Anyways, Aldridge scored 26 on 11 for 13 shooting. He also played good defense on Pittsnogle for most of the game both under and away from the basket. He had a hand in his face all night long and Kevin Pittsnogle was still 5 of 9 from three.

The Horns made four 3’s all night long while West Virginia made fifteen and they still won the basketball game. The guards played well and penetrated well and despite not really lighting up the scoreboard definitely contributed to the victory. Four assists for Daniel Gibson and AJ Abrams as they continually fed the ball inside to Aldridge and put Tucker in position to make plays. Special props to Mr. Mike Williams who had a career night with nine points, seven rebounds, and a block off the bench.

The night will of course be remembered for Kenton Paulino’s game winning shot. He struggled for much of the night, took some shots he shouldn’t have when Texas was struggling, and didn’t have a single assist but man did he come up huge when we needed him. Kenton had the confidence to ask for the ball and take the last second shot and he nailed it. Congrats to a guy who after an up and down first few years at Texas has been one of the Horns’ most important players this season.

A great victory for Texas basketball.

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2 Comments

  1. reply to  #1

    Matt

    That was F-in ridiculous.

  2. reply to  #2

    Brian

    No kidding. When a team can make the 3 like WVU I guess you can never get too comfortable. Tough game but the Horns are headed for the Elite 8!!

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