They say the talent gap between a Division-I and Division-II athlete is pretty big. Most times that does prove to be true.
But the Fairmont State men's basketball program proved on Monday night that they could run with the big boys.
"We knew we could play with them. It was just the fact that we didn't really do what we needed to do. So I mean, we were all disappointed. But you've got to learn from it and get better," Fairmont State sophomore guard Stevie Browning said.
Getting better is the whole point of an exhibition game. But Fairmont State wasn't looking to just get better. They were looking to come out with a 'W' on Monday night. However the Falcons fell short to the West Virginia Mountaineers, 89-70.
"I think we need to step our defense up. I think that's our main problem. We didn't compete with them as he thought we should. He wanted us to show them that we could compete with them and that they're not the only good team in West Virginia," Falcons freshman guard Caleb Davis said.
Fairmont State Head Coach Jerrod Calhoun made a return trip to Morgantown after spending four seasons under Mountaineers Head Coach Bob Huggins. He says it was a memory he will not ever forget and one his players will certainly cherish as members of the Falcon Basketball family.
"So for a young basketball team, this was a great experience. I've got a bunch of young guys who were playing high school basketball last year. Now they're playing the state's team. I'm sure it'll be an experience that they'll always remember," Fairmont State Men's Basketball Head Coach Jerrod Calhoun said.
Fairmont State came close several times in Monday's game, cutting the deficit to single digits. But allowing the Mountaineers to shoot 50 percent in the second half was the deciding factor. Calhoun has been on record saying Huggins has helped groom him into the coach he is today, and Huggins says he's proud of the coach that Calhoun has become.
"Jerrod was smart enough to get involved in AAU and coach in AAU, where you get out and network and meet people and meet guys who have great players. He's worked at it and I think it's certainly paid off for him," West Virginia Men's Basketball Head Coach Bob Huggins said.
At the end of the day, the Falcons understand...
"It's a learning lesson. All we have to do is learn from our mistakes and go from there," Davis said.