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February 9, 2013

WVU looks to even conference record





Bob Huggins wasn't aware that Saturday's road matchup with TCU was the 1,000th game of his career until he received a text message about it.

"My hips were feeling belter and my knees and then he texted me that and I started hurting again," the West Virginia head coach joked.

Huggins said he thought about retiring after his first game, a victory, in order to go out undefeated but he's added another 719 more to his total over his illustrious career. But when asked if he'd like to have games back, he didn't hesitate.

"There's about 300-some I'd like to have back," he said.

On the flip side, Huggins said it's hard to single out individual games that have stuck out during his career but two that come to mind is the Mountaineers Elite Eight victory over Kentucky and winning the Big East Championship on a Saturday night in Madison Square Garden as "Country Roads," played over the most famous arena in the world's speakers.

"Seeing all of those people with tears of joy in their eyes, that was pretty neat," he said.

The Mountaineers (11-11, 4-5) will take their two-game winning streak to Fort Worth, Texas to take on a Horned Frogs team that scored one of the biggest upsets of the season Wednesday. That's because TCU (10-12, 1-8) defeated Kansas 62-55 to earn their first Big 12 Conference victory in surprising fashion over the highly rated Jayhawks.

"I think it would be a huge boost to their confidence," Huggins said.

West Virginia won the first meeting between the two teams in Morgantown Jan.23 by a score of 71-50, as the Mountaineers were able to control the game on both ends of the floor. In that game, Eron Harris led the way with 19 points, while Deniz Kilicli and Jabarie Hinds also finished in double figures.

The Mountaineers were able to force 17-turnovers and apply pressure to the ball, to get TCU out a rhythm offensively and lead to easy baskets on the other end. Huggins does not expect the 4 p.m. tipoff to be easy by any means.

"I think they've played as hard as anyone has on a game to game basis," Huggins said.


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