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February 28, 2013

Huggins: Playing hard

In a season full of struggles, West Virginia (13-15, 6-9) dropped its third consecutive game Wednesday night to Baylor (17-11, 8-7) 65-62 but there were some things that were encouraging to head coach Bob Huggins.

"We had all kinds of chances, we don't get any stops when we need to get stops and we don't make shots when we need to make shots," he said. "But we played hard today. I feel if there is such a thing as feeling better, I feel better because we played hard. I got all the pouters out of the game and let them sit on the bench and pout."

Huggins has tried a variety of new things this season to remedy the Mountaineers woes and Wednesday was no different.

The Mountaineers went away from the motion offense and used ball screens, back cuts and dribble hands off to get players open looks and Huggins thought that the players adjusted well and it allowed for them to have more movement on the offensive end.

"I thought the guys we had on the floor really did execute, we just didn't make shots," he said.

The offense was put in place on Tuesday according to sophomore forward Kevin Noreen.

"I think it was really good and effective for us, but to lose by three it's not what you want," he said.

That was the case on the Mountaineers next to last possession when Eron Harris had an open look at the top of the key to give West Virginia the lead but he failed to connect. The final possession broke down and resulted in Juwan Staten shooting a three-pointer.

"Eron had a great look," Huggins said.

Harris finished the game with a career-high 25-points as he continues to adjust to the way that teams defend him. The true freshman has developed into the vocal point of opposing team's game preparation in the past seven to eight games.

"They didn't guard him before, he was a guy you helped off of," he said. "Now they can't help off him."

West Virginia will travel to Kansas Saturday for a 2 p.m. tipoff.

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