CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Not to say West Virginia's 3-point shooting has been erratic this season, but it's missing from the NCAA's statistical rankings, too.
The Mountaineers haven't made enough 3-pointers to qualify. They need to average five per game, but had made only 19 in the first five games. If they had made enough to qualify, the 23.5 percent would be last among the 265 teams eligible to be ranked.
WVU was actually worse in Wednesday night's 69-59 Capital Classic win against Marshall.
A Charleston Civic Center crowd of 11,512 watched the Mountaineers go 1-for-6.
That was perfectly acceptable for WVU (3-3). It meant the game plan was executed as it was devised.
"Every team is different and you're going to have a different tactic, a different game plan every game," senior Deniz Kilicli said. "This was their weakness - they didn't want to guard anybody. So we attacked them inside."
The Mountaineers were 7-for-14 on layups in the first half, 10-for-20 in the second half and outscored Marshall 36-18 in the paint.
It was the fourth time a Bob Huggins team has made just one 3 in a game, but the first time in his six seasons Huggins has won the game. The six attempts were the fewest in a game since 1999.
The lone 3-pointer by Jabarie Hinds with 9:43 to go came after a teammate drove to the basket and drew defenders.
The teammate, oddly enough, was the 6-foot-9, 260-pound Kilicli. It gave WVU a 49-39 lead, largest of the game for either team at that point.
"I figured they couldn't guard the dribble," Kilicli said. "Their bigs just don't want to guard anybody. He got up on me and I couldn't pass to anybody.
"Huggs always says, 'Go to the middle and good things happen.' We try to keep people out of the middle. I thought, 'All right, I'm going to try to go to the middle and see what happens.' Something good happened."
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KILICLI'S ASSIST was one of just eight for WVU on 22 baskets. Point guard Juwan Staten led the team with three. Two were in a flurry late in the first half when the Mountaineers closed with a 12-1 run.
"Coming into the game, we knew we had to get paint touches, whether it was driving the ball or feeding the post and I think we did a great job of both," Staten said. "There wasn't a lot of transition in the game, but Marshall is the kind of team that plays spread out. Our goal was to attack the rim. It's hard to get assists when you're attacking the rim."
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THE RUN AT the end of the first half was highlighted by WVU's switch to a 1-3-1 zone in a timeout with 2:09 remaining. Marshall committed a turnover the first time it saw the zone when freshman Eron Harris - who had just entered the game - and sophomore Keaton Miles trapped Marshall's Dennis Tinnon along the sideline near mid-court.
That led to two free throws by Kilicli. A second turnover came before a jumper by Hinds. A third turnover was almost costly, but Harris missed a layup with 3 seconds to play and Miles dunked in the rebound after the buzzer.