Sunday, March 21, 2010
Halftime: West Virginia 30, Missouri 25
By Dana O'Neil
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A few quick observations from a competitive (finally!) game here in Buffalo:
West Virginia is doing exactly what it needs to do to beat Missouri: Limit the chaos. The Mountaineers have just six turnovers and are actually beating the Tigers in points off turnovers, 9 to 3. Joe Mazzulla and Truck Bryant both have been steady at the point, with no miscues between them in 10 minutes of play apiece.
The Tigers better figure out a way to handle Da'Sean Butler. He was quiet against Morgan State with only nine points. He's making up for it today with 19 in the first half. The Mizzou scouting report, I'm guessing, contained a few lines on Butler. Better get back to it in the second half.
Missouri isn't going to beat West Virginia in a half-court game. The Mountaineers 1-3-1 zone is just tricky enough to stymie an average shooting team like the Tigers. Mizzou needs to force the tempo and force WVU out of its comfort zone. When J.T. Tiller only has one steal at the break, that's not a fast enough 20 minutes of basketball.