MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- New Year's Day wasn't that long ago, but West Virginia's loss at Marquette that day is a distant memory.
"I don't remember that game," said forward Deniz Kilicli. "The only thing I remember after that game is we lost and in the locker room we said, 'We're not doing this any more. It feels bad. We don't like it.' Now, we keep getting better."
The Mountaineers haven't lost since, and Sunday they won their fourth consecutive game.
Winning out was not the goal that day in Milwaukee, though. WVU was instead determined not to give away any more games, and to grab the wins that were within reach.
A 68-64 win against No. 8 Purdue before 14,173 inside the Coliseum pushed the Marquette memories further back in their brains as the Mountaineers made the needed plays to snap a six-game home losing streak against top-10 teams and get their first win of that variety since 2008.
"That was a much of a total team effort as any we've had this year," Coach Bob Huggins said. "I think you can point to a lot of guys who made huge plays for us near the end to allow us to win."
In the final 4:23, John Flowers made a 3-pointer and a jump shot to sustain WVU's rally from down six to up six in the second half.
Kilicli hit a hook shot and later grabbed a critical offensive rebound with 1:30 to go.
Joe Mazzulla followed Kilicli's rebound with a layup as the shot clock expired and then made up for missing free throws and letting Purdue linger by grabbing two defensive rebounds.
He followed the second with a quick pass ahead to Truck Bryant, a significantly better free throw shooter who made two with 4 seconds to go to clinch the game.
"This was a last-year's-team kind of game," said forward Kevin Jones. "We weren't worried about not winning. We were more worried about going out there and playing our game. That's when we're at our best.
"It's taken some time for everyone to learn their different roles, but I think you see the progression of this team as we go forward. As long as we keep doing that, we can be a really good team."
The contributions toward victory were not limited to the late action. WVU had a lull in the second half and went from up six points to down six in five minutes, but Jones kept WVU close with an offensive rebound and basket along with a pair of jumpers.
He and Flowers made 3s on consecutive possessions and Casey Mitchell followed that with a three-point play before Flowers' second 3 put WVU ahead 58-52 with 4:23 to go.
The Mountaineers (12-4) might have enjoyed the ending a little more, but Mazzulla missed the front end of a 1-and-1 - his fifth straight miss in the second half - in a 64-62 game with 36 seconds left. He rebounded Purdue's miss and was fouled, but missed the first and made the second. He rebounded another Purdue miss and found Bryant for the decisive free throws.
"I'm going to get the ball, so the free throws had nothing to do with that," said Mazzulla, who was 4-for-10 at the line. "If you can't get in a rhythm on the free throw line, it makes it a lot tougher."