Halfway home - Washington 29, West Virginia 27

Written by Paul Zeise on .

The first half was not a thing of beauty, but that is exactly how the Mountaineers like it and this game is really playing out the way they need it in order to win.

It is low scoring, played at a snail's pace and physical -- and if continues to be a slugfest, I don't think there is any question the Mountaineers will have a great chance to win it because, let's face it, nobody this year is better at playing this brand of basketball then the Mountaineers.

Here are a few developments to keep an eye on:

1.) Washington star Quincy Pondexter has three fouls and two of them were not very smart basketball plays on his part. He obviously is a big part of what the Huskies do but in a game like this, with bodies flying all over the floor, he needs to be very careful to not pick up a forth. The Mountaineers need to find him in the defense and attack him.

2.) Depth is not going to be an issue with West Virginia as Bob Huggins has really done a great job of using his bench and playing a lot of guys - like Deniz Kilicli, John Flowers Dalton Pepper and Cam Thoroughman, in order to eat up minutes that perhaps would have gone to Truck Bryant. And as a bonus, Kilicli has scored a few key baskets and really has been a big force for the Mountaineers.

3.) Watching the Mountaineers defend the basket is awfully impressive. Teams might be able to get to the rim against them but once there, they have to figure out how to get the ball over top of those long, athletic, long-armed guys waiting in there. Watching Washington's players continually get frustrated as they struggle to get the ball in the hoop once they are in the paint gives you an idea of what this West Virginia team is capable of.

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