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Welcome (back) to Earth: Mountaineers beat Frogs 78-67

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West Virginia dominated the paint against the Frogs, and as a result walked out of a foul-filled conference opener with a win.

So many rebounds.
So many rebounds.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There's an old saying that if you look hard enough, you could call a foul on just about every possession in basketball.  If that is indeed the case, the referees in this one must have very incredible vision, as an okay first half turned into a choppy foul plagued second half that absolutely destroyed the flow of the game.  That said, there can be no sour grapes about the actual outcome of the game, as the Mountaineers were very deserving victors, but I honestly don't know when I've seen more whistles in a basketball game (on both sides) outside of a Dwayne Wade playoff game.

The Frogs actually controlled this game early on, building a ten point lead at points in the first half, but gradually the lead gave way in the face of an overwhelming inside presence by West Virginia that gave the Mountaineers a buffet of extra chances that drew fouls inside to force several frogs into foul trouble.  As a result, the advantage for the Mountaineers inside was exacerbated, leading to even more offensive rebounds and putbacks that eventually swallowed the TCU lead and put the Mountaineers ahead for good.  The Mountaineers collected an incredible 21 offensive rebounds for 43 second chance points, compared to just 29 total rebounds for the Frogs.  The Frogs fought hard in this one, with Trey Zeigler putting up a very efficient 17 points on just 6 shots, while Kyan Anderson chipping in 19 on a 4-8 performance.  For the Mountaineers, although no one had a stellar shooting performance, the sheer volume of shots generated by their rebounding prowess put the Frogs behind the 8-ball.  The Frogs drop to 13-1 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play heading into what should be a very interesting road game against a Kansas State team that has had some struggles this year and sits at just 7-7 on the year.  It's far too early to draw many major conclusions about the Frogs as a result of this one, except that they may need to try and get the bigs other than Shepherd involved more on the offensive end to try and limit the changes to the offense that seem inevitable when Shepherd has to sit- and we're not going to go undefeated.  All in all it was a gutsy performance by the Frogs, but the Mountaineers are a nasty team and are likely going to make a lot of noise in the Big 12 this year.

Go Frogs!