SPOKANE, Wash. -- The pre-game fervor from Gonzaga's student body was a sight to behold here late Monday night (Tuesday morning in the Mountain State).
The five-section block of red - aside from the few wearing Gumby, Batman and other costumes - danced and sang in unison to pop hits like "Call Me, Maybe" and "Gangnam Style." They chanted, swayed and stomped during "Zombie Nation."
The atmosphere was electric in front of a sold-out crowd of 6,000 at the nine-year-old McCarthey Athletic Center, where No. 19 Gonzaga is now 106-7 after thumping West Virginia, 84-50, in the Mountaineers' 2012-13 men's basketball opener that was witnessed by a national audience on ESPN's 24 hours of hoops marathon.
In the worst loss of Bob Huggins' 31-year coaching career, the visitors from three time zones away could've used the synergy of that stellar student section.
What WVU displayed was the antithesis of that.
"We didn't play as a team; an organized team," said senior forward Deniz Kilicli, clearly frustrated after consecutive beatings by Gonzaga that came 282 days apart.
"We looked like we just got together yesterday."
WVU had more turnovers (20) than made shots (15). Huggins was critical of the team's ball movement, which often relegated the Mountaineers to low-percentage scoring chances. WVU was 3-for-26 from 3-point range and 15-for-55 overall.
Jabarie Hinds and newcomer Aaric Murray combined to make half of their 18 field goal attempts, but the rest of the team went 6-for-37.
Only one player - Keaton Miles - had more than one assist. He had two.
"People don't know what the other guys are going to do," Kilicli said. "It looks so out of sync. The good teams you see, everybody goes to places that is right and the ball moves right. It wasn't like that.
"The whole offense was broken."
Kilicli had an undesirable string of 5s on his stat line: 5 points, 5 rebounds, 5 fouls and 5 turnovers. One of his miscues was an ill-advised and ill-fated cross-court pass that ended up amongst the rowdy Catholic school students seated in sections 103-107.
In the first half, there was a five-second violation on an inbounds pass ... coming out of a timeout. In the second half, WVU had a shot clock violation where it seemed none of the five players were aware of the dwindling time allotted for a possession.
The lowlights support Kilicli's assertion, like when Juwan Staten, in his Mountaineer debut, tried to get loose with the aid of a Kilicli screen early, but there was a communication breakdown and the players' indecisiveness led to an illegal screen call on Kilicli.
On a fast-break opportunity, Murray launched a long pass toward Hinds, who never turned around. The ball richoeted off Hinds' shoulder and resulted in a turnover.