There’s little worse than traveling for the holidays and then getting sick, but that is what has befallen the West Virginia basketball team.
The Mountaineers (5-1), who are scheduled to face Florida in the fifth-place game of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament on Sunday in Portland, Ore., have been ailing since the arrived in the Rose City.
“We’re getting better,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “We had some other guys that had the stomach flu and were throwing up and actually throwing up the night before.”
The Mountaineers, who lost to No. 24 Purdue 80-68 in their opening game of the tournament, rebounded with an 89-71 victory against Portland State on Friday as Tre Mitchell scored 16 points.
It was the 921st victory of Huggins’ career, moving him past Jim Calhoun and into third place on the NCAA Division I all-time list. Huggins trails only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and recently retired Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Afterward, Huggins seemed more concerned about his team’s 19 turnovers than the milestone.
“I’m going to fire some guys. I’m teasing,” he said. “I mean, we’re going to continue to work at it but obviously if they continue to turn it over, we’re going to have to put somebody else in.”
The Gators (3-3) defeated Oregon State 81-68 Friday after a 90-73 loss to Xavier in the first round.
Trey Bonham scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half as Florida built a double-digit lead against the Beavers. The Gators shot 56.6 percent from the field.
“Really, all 10 guys that got in and played (Friday) played well. That was really pleasing,” Gators coach Todd Golden said. “I feel like this is a game we can really build off of.”
Will Richard, a transfer from Belmont, added 13 points and five rebounds.
“If we can go 2-1 in a tournament like this,” said Richard, “that wouldn’t be bad at all.”
–Field Level Media