Posted on 01. Mar, 2009 by in NCAA Basketball.



West Virginia Mountaineer senior guard Alex Ruoff was determined to make his final homecoming a good one, but it took a little longer into the game than against the South Florida Bulls.  Ruoff is from Spring Hill, Florida, about 50 miles from the USF Tampa campus.  In front of a large group of family and friends, Ruoff poured in 16 points, with 13 coming in the second half, to lead WVU to a 64-50 win at the Sun Dome.

The victory gave West Virginia another 20 win season and guaranteed them at least a .500 record in the Big East, as they stand at 9-7 with two games to play.  A back and forth game saw the ‘Eers holding onto a 30-27 lead at the half.  A 10-1 run by WVU to open the second half forced USF head coach Stan Heath to call a timeout just four minutes into the second half.  The Bulls would hang around, but never get close enough to make a game of it.

The Mountaineers placed three other players in double figures. Freshman point guard Darryl “Truck” Bryant scored 13, while freshman forwards Devin Ebanks and Kevin Jones each added 10.  South Florida was led by guard Dominic Jones, who scored a game high 18 points in a losing effort.

After the game, West Virginia is heading home for their final two regular season games against DePaul and Louisville before starting the Big East Conference Tournament in New York.

-    The crowd was announced at 5,082.  I would say there were closer to 3,500 in the building, and no joke, 2,000 of them were West Virginia fans.  It had to feel like a home game for the players.

-    WVU wore their road  navy blue Nike jerseys, with a wide variety of Nike Basketball shoes.  The Mountaineers also had on gold warmup tops.
-    South Florida wore their home white Adidas jerseys and shoes.  They also play with an Adidas basketball.
-    I thought WVU head coach Bob Huggins looked good in a navy blue suit with a black polo shirt underneath.
-    Dan Hipsher, former Akron Zip head coach is now an assistant on the USF bench.
-    I am a big fan of the USF Sun Dolls.
-    Calling all USF students…Come in USF students…Where are you?
-    I was very pleased to attend the game with friend, and former co-worker, Brendan “Woody” Foley.  Woody is now a JUCO coach at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, and made the drive.
-    The players all stood around at center court waiting for the jump ball, waiting on ESPN to give the go ahead.
-    Truck Bryant scored eight of WVU’s first 13 points.
-    USF held a one point lead late in the first half until Alex Ruoff made his first basket, a three pointer.
-    Loud cheers of “Lets Go Mountaineers” was heard throughout the game.
-    At halftime, USF honored a large number of former basketball alumni players and staff.
-    Former USF Bulls players Charlie Bradley and Radenko Dobras, who have their numbers retired by the school, were in attendance and honored.  The only other player missing who has a number retired is Chucky Atkins.
-    A highlight of the afternoon, was halftime when a group of young players, I think second grade, took the court for a few minute scrimmage. The hoops were lowered, and they even had their own cheerleaders.  The red team won the game 4-0.
usf-halftime-little-kids-playing-    The Orlando Magic had a scout in the stands to watch WVU Freshman Devin Ebanks.
-    With 12 minutes remaining in the game, and West Virignia starting to pull away, USF Coach Stan Heath received a technical foul for arguing a loose ball foul.

-    This my first visit to the Sun Dome on USF’s campus as a fan, and not sitting on the bench. I always knew this was not a great arena, but I got to study in a bit today. The lighting is real dark, and the lack of fans makes for a not so great experience.
-    USF asks $10 for parking, which I feel is a bit much when they are not drawing many fans.  I choose to find a free spot over by the baseball stadium and walk.
-    There are some great courtside seats at the Sun Dome where some fans are closer than some of the team players on the bench.
-    There is a practice gym on the concourse level of the arena which is always a nice added feature.
-    The soft pretzels and nachos at the game are pretty good.
-    There are some seats in the south end zone that are $20 a ticket and all you can eat hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn and soft drinks. Not a bad deal at all.  If you are watching some bad basketball, at least you can have your belly content.
-    USF has installed some newer scoreboards in the arena which are nice.  Two of the huge boards are video boards and two of them are stat boards.
-    The first row of seats behind the bench is very close.  You can lean over and touch the coaches and players.
-    The seats in the arena are very ugly, as a bunch of them have been replaced or repaired and none of the colors match.
-    There was working WIFI, but you had to log in with a valid USF email address, which I don’t have.

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