Will Spradling’s 19 points led five double-figure Kansas State scorers as the 13th-ranked Wildcats defeated West Virginia 71-61 Monday night in Big 12 men’s basketball action at Fred Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.
K-State quickly built a double-digit lead and enjoyed a comfortable margin for the rest of the game, including a 20-point margin with 3:22 left before the Mountaineers scored the final 10 points of the contest.
West Virginia (13-13, 6-7) looked like a team making its fourth trip halfway across the country in the last 16 days, the Mountaineers getting off to a cold shooting start and never really finding their shooting stroke, particularly from the guard position.
WVU finished the game hitting 17 of its 42 field goal attempts for 40.5 percent, including 4 of 13 from 3-point range. West Virginia missed its first seven 3-point field goal tries before Jabarie Hinds
finally ended the drought with a minute left in the first half. By that time, Kansas State was comfortably ahead by 15.
“We had some wide open looks and didn’t make them,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “They had some wide open looks and they made them.”
Freshman Eron Harris
, who came into tonight’s game scoring double figures in five straight games and nine out of his last 10, was saddled with early foul trouble and could never get it going. He eventually fouled out with 9:24 left without scoring.
was totally out of the game,” said Huggins. “That was the first time that he got into foul trouble and sat, and he played like a freshman.”
had another strong performance for the Mountaineers with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting despite missing a good portion of the first half when he was whistled for two quick fouls. Kilicli was the only WVU player to reach double figures.
“Deniz has come a long way and the reason why when everyone was down on Deniz I felt like he could have some success was because Deniz has never quit,” said Huggins. “He fights through things.”
just missed a double-double with 9 points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes of action coming off the bench.
In addition to Spradling’s 19, Nino Williams came off the bench to score 13, Thomas Gipson and Angel Rodriguez had 11, and Rodney McGruder contributed 10 for the Wildcats.
A vocal crowd of 12,329 watched tonight’s game.
“I honestly thought we could make a run in the second half because Deniz hardly played in the first half and really he’s been our go-to guy,” said Huggins. “We just had to find ways to get the ball to him and you keep hoping that guys are going to make shots.”
The win boosts Kansas State’s record to 21-5, 10-3. The Wildcats swept the season series against West Virginia, previously defeating the Mountaineers 65-64 in Morgantown back on Jan. 14.
The Mountaineers are now 0-5 against ranked teams this year.
West Virginia will have some time off before facing 14th-ranked Oklahoma State at the Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. That game will get underway at 2 p.m. and will be televised nationally by ESPN2.