Wildcats Too Much for Mountaineers


By John Antonik for WVUsports.com
January 18, 2014 04:13 PM
WVU guard Juwan Staten fights for a loose ball during Saturday afternoon's game against Kansas State. The Wildcats defeated the Mountaineers 78-56.
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Kansas State got 20 points each from Thomas Gipson and Shane Southwell to down West Virginia 78-56 Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.
 
West Virginia jumped out to an early 8-3 lead before K-State’s perimeter defenders locked down on the Mountaineers, eventually holding them to a season-low 56 points.
 
WVU shot 32.7 percent for the game, including 4 of 15 from 3. In its last two games, the Mountaineers are just 8 of 40 from behind the arc, which is not a good prescription for a team that struggles to score close to the basket.
 
The Wildcats held West Virginia to only two field goals during a nine-minute stretch in the first half to build a 33-19 lead, and K-State eventually led 37-24 at the break.
 
In the second half, Kansas State’s lead swelled to 25 as the Mountaineers continued their cold shooting.
 
Eron Harris scored 21 to lead all scorers, hitting 5 of 12 from the field including 4 of 8 from 3, while Juwan Staten added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Staten also committed a season-high seven turnovers.
 
Guard Marcus Foster contributed 15 for the Wildcats, which shot 54.9 percent for the game.
 
"They made shots and we didn't," said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. "We just have a hard time scoring the ball. (Kansas State) is not much taller than I am; our guys are taller than I am, and we can't score it close."
 
West Virginia, which has now dropped three straight Big 12 games after starting the season with a pair of conference wins on the road at TCU and Texas Tech, falls to 10-8, 3-2.
 
Kansas State improves to 14-4, 4-1. The Wildcats will be in Morgantown to play West Virginia on Feb. 1.
 
The Mountaineers return to the Coliseum to face Texas Tech on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in an 8 p.m. game that will be televised on the Big 12 Network.



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