Mountaineers to visit Purdue today

MORGANTOWN?- Two squads playing below their standards will face off today when West Virginia travels to Purdue in a battle of the Big 12 and Big 10 conferences.

The action will be televised live on CBS with a 2 p.m. starting time.

The Mountaineers saw their record drop to 8-8 after a valiant rally fell short Wednesday at Iowa State. WVU overcame an 18-point second-half deficit before falling on a layup with three seconds left.

The Boilermakers, meanwhile, are 9-8 and winners of two straight games.

Purdue is led in scoring by junior guard Terone Johnson (13.4 ppg), 7-foot center A.J. Hammons (10.6) and forward D.J. Byrd (10.1).

Mountaineer head coach Bob Huggins said after the loss to the Cyclones a change in personnel was needed. He indicated a smaller lineup was the only way his squad could compete in the Big 12 Conference.

“We’re going with a small lineup (for now on),” Huggins said Wednesday night. “They (the bigs) have had ample opportunity. They’ve had over half the season. I mean, how can it be worse? We’re 1-3 (in the Big 12).”

Sophomore guard Juwan Staten leads WVU in scoring with 10.3 ppg. Staten played against Iowa State after not getting off the bench in last Saturday’s loss to Kansas State.

Junior center Aaric Murray is second with 10 points per outing, while freshman Terry Henderson, who didn’t play against Iowa State due to an injury, is third at 8.5 ppg.

Henderson made the trip to Purdue, but is availability is unknown.

Sophomore guard Jabarie Hinds has led WVU in scoring the past two games – hitting for 15 last Saturday, while scoring a career-high 20 points against Iowa State.

Sophomore guard Gary Browne, who injured his ankle on Wednesday, also is questionable for today’s contest.

The Boilermakers lead the all-time series, 5-1. The schools last met two years ago at the Coliseum with the Mountaineers earning a 68-64 win.