Mountaineers Fall at Kansas

  • By John Antonik
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  • February 08, 2014 07:20 PM
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Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points and Wayne Selden Jr. added 17 to lead eighth-ranked Kansas to an 83-69 victory over West Virginia Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
Today’s victory boosts Kansas’ record to 171-9 at Allen Fieldhouse under Coach Bill Self, now in his 11th season at KU, while West Virginia had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Kansas broke away from the Mountaineers late, using a 12-1 run with 5:14 left to turn a two-possession game into a 15-point lead.
After Wiggins made one of two at the line, Joel Embiid was able to add two more free throws when he was fouled while rebounding Wiggins’ miss.
Then came an Embiid dunk, a Naadir Tharpe 3 and a Seldon jumper to put away the Mountaineers, now 14-10, 6-5.
“I really thought when it was four that if we could get a stop and then come down – I thought we’d get a wide-open look at a 3 and we did, so now all of a sudden it’s a one-point game and then they start to tighten up a little bit, but it never happened,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins.
West Virginia, which lost by 26 here last year, got a game-high 22 points from Juwan Staten, who hit 7 of 12 from the floor and added 8 of 10 at the line. Staten’s stat line also included four assists and three rebounds.
Eron Harris, who knocked down three 3s right off the bat to begin the game, scored 17 but was shut down in the second half when the Jayhawks put Wiggins on him. Terry Henderson, WVU’s third leading scorer averaging 12.5 points per game, finished with 2 points and failed to make a field goal.
“They know we can’t throw it inside so their big guys can stand in the lane,” said Huggins.
Embiid finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Tarik Black contributed 11.
Kansas shot 54.9 percent from the floor to boost its record to 14-1 this year when shooting 50 percent or better. The Jayhawks also had a nine-rebound edge against West Virginia, making it 19 out of 23 games this season that they have out-rebounded their opponent.
“They’ve got just great athleticism,” said Huggins. “They’re so long and so athletic that it’s hard to get things at the rim.”
West Virginia’s inside players Devin Williams and Brandon Watkins fouled out, while forwards Kevin Noreen, Nate Adrian and Remi Dibo each finished with four fouls.
The Mountaineers also shot just 39.6 percent and committed 14 turnovers - four more than their season average.
“I’m proud of them for the fact that they’re playing hard; they are competing and they are very unselfish and they are very much a team,” said Huggins. “We’ve got guys that have bought in and that’s going to end up taking us a long way.”
Kansas honored the 40th anniversary of its 1974 NCAA Final Four team during the game.
West Virginia has a quick turnaround, facing 16th-ranked Iowa State on Monday night at the WVU Coliseum. The Cyclones had little trouble with TCU earlier today in Ames, defeating the Horned Frogs 84-69. 
Melvin Ejim had 48 against TCU to break the Big 12 single-game scoring record. The senior forward had 20 points in a row for the Cyclones at one point during the game.
“The most important thing is we go home, get some rest, do what we’ve got to do and then come Monday we get ready to play,” said Huggins. “Iowa State is a good RPI team, they beat Michigan during the non-conference schedule, so we’ve got to come home and beat Iowa State.”
Fans can purchase a $10 ticket for Monday night's game, courtesy of Coca-Cola. Tickets are available online at WVUGAME.com.

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