9/9 West Virginia Grinds Past K-State, 70-55




12-8 (2-6 Big 12)

17-3 (6-2 Big 12)

J. Edwards: 11pts, 4rebs, 2blks
D. Wade: 9pts, 8rebs, 3asts
D. Johnson: 8pts, 4rebs, 3blks

J. Holton: 14pts, 11rebs, 1stl
J. Paige: 12pts, 5rebs, 3asts
N. Adrian: 10pts, 3rebs, 1ast

K-State 25 30 55
West Virginia 34 36 70

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- No. 9/9 West Virginia used a stingy defense and a balanced offensive attack to post a 70-55 win over Kansas State on Tuesday night before a crowd of 9,936 at WVU Coliseum.

With the win, the Mountaineers (17-3, 6-2 Big 12) moved into a tie for first place in the Big 12 with No. 1/2 Oklahoma and swept the season series from the Wildcats (12-8, 2-6 Big 12) for the second consecutive season.

K-State’s tough luck against the nation’s best teams continued, as the team fell to 0-7 against Top 25 opponents. All eight setbacks have come to teams with RPIs among the Top 35 nationally.

In a matchup that pitted the Big 12’s top-two defensive teams, neither squad shot better than 43 percent from the field and combined for 37 turnovers and 46 personal fouls. West Virginia was able to make the most of a sloppy game, making four more 3-point field goals and holding advantages for points off turnovers (16-12) and second-chance points (15-13). The two teams combined to miss 68 field goals, including 30 from beyond the arc.

Senior Jonathan Holton paced three Mountaineers in double figures with game-highs in both points (14) and rebounds, while fellow seniors Jaysean Paige and Nathan Adrian added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Just a few days after setting season-highs for field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage, the Wildcats struggled, recording season-lows for points (55), field goal percentage (35.1/20-of-57) and 3-point field goal percentage (5.6/1-of-18). The 5.6 percent shooting from 3-point range ranks as the seventh-lowest in school history and the lowest since missing all 13 attempts against Wisconsin in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament on March 22.

Senior Justin Edwards was the lone Wildcat to score in double figures, as he tallied 11 points on 4-of-8 field goals. Freshman Dean Wade scored 9 points on 3-of-9 shooting with a team-high 8 rebounds, while junior D.J. Johnson added 8 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks before fouling out with 2:26 remaining.

The Basics
Final Score: 9/9 West Virginia 70, Kansas State 55
Records: Kansas State 12-8, 2-6 Big 12 // 9/9 West Virginia 17-3, 6-2 Big 12
Attendance: 9,936
Next Game: Saturday, Jan. 30 \\ vs. Ole Miss \\ 1 p.m. CT \\ ESPNU

The Short Story
West Virginia was effective on both ends of the floor in sweeping the season series from K-State for the second straight season with a 70-55 win on Tuesday night at the WVU Coliseum.
The teams missed 68 shots and had a combined 37 turnovers and 46 personal fouls.
The Mountaineers saw nine players score at least 2 points, including three in double figures, led by senior Jonathan Holton’s double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats posted season-lows for points (55), field goal percentage (35.1), 3-point field goals (1), 3-point field goal percentage (5.6) and assists (9).
Senior Justin Edwards was the lone Wildcat in double figures with 11 points, while freshman Dean Wade added 9 points and a team-high 8 rebounds.

How It Happened | First Half
K-State couldn’t take advantage of some early opportunities, as the Wildcats made just 1-of-4 free throws after back-to-back technicals were called on Tarik Phillip and the West Virginia bench at the 16:33 mark.
The Mountaineers used the momentum to rattle off 10 straight points and take a 17-8 lead with 11:18 before halftime to force a Wildcat timeout. During the stretch, the team went 1-of-11 with 4 turnovers.
K-State finally ended a scoring drought that last six minutes and 19 seconds with a layup by Edwards at the 10:14 mark.
The Wildcats were able to stay within striking distance, closing to within 21-18 with 4:48 to play on a pair of Edwards’ free throws.
However, West Virginia was able to push back ahead with a 6-2 spurt to take a 27-20 lead at 2:39 mark.
After a Wesley Iwundu layup closed the deficit to 31-25 with 37 seconds remaining, Carter rattled home a 3-pointer just 24 seconds later to put the halftime score at 34-25.
West Virginia connected on 40 percent (12-of-30), including 28.6 percent (4-of-14) from 3-point range, while K-State was shot just 34.6 percent (9-of-26) from the field, including 12.5 percent (1-of-8) from long range. Both teams went 6-of-11 from the free throw line.
Edwards led all Wildcat scorers with 6 points, while Paige paced the Mountaineers with 8 points.
West Virginia held a 13-4 edge in second-chance points on 10 offensive rebounds.

How It Happened | Second Half
The Mountaineers were able to extend the lead back to double digits early in the second half on a layup by Holton at the 18:19 mark.
Despite going more than 3 minutes without a basket, the Wildcats played well on the defensive end before closing the gap to 41-34 on a layup by Austin Budke with 12:42 on the clock.
West Virginia halted any more momentum with a 3-pointer by Adrian just 18 seconds later.
K-State was able to close to within 46-37 on a Stokes’ layup at the 10:20 mark.
However, the Mountaineers were able to score 7 of the next 8 points to take a 53-38 advantage with 7:40 to play.
The score with grew to 57-40 with 5:51 to play on a pair of free throws by Holton. 
The Wildcats could get no closer than 10 points the rest of the way in the eventual 70-55 final score.
West Virginia connected 45.8 percent (11-of-24) in the second half, while K-State shot 35.5 percent (11-of-31) from the field, missing all 10 3-point field goals.

Beyond the Boxscore
Seven of the Wildcats’ eight losses this season have come to nationally-ranked teams (No. 9/8 North Carolina, No. 25 Texas A&M, No. 19/17 West Virginia (twice) and 2/1 Oklahoma, No. 17/18 Iowa State and No. 13/15 Baylor)… All eight setbacks have come to teams with RPIs in the Top 35 nationally.
K-State is now 41-122 all-time against AP Top 10 opponents, including 5-12 vs. the AP’s No. 9 squad.
West Virginia now leads the all-time series, 6-4, including 5 straight wins dating back to 2014.
K-State fell to 2-6 away from home this season, including 1-5 in true road games.
K-State fell to 9-26 under Bruce Weber when allowing an opponent to score 70 or more points.
The Wildcats are 7-18 under Weber when not reaching 60 points in a contest.
K-State fell to 1-5 this season when being out-rebounded, as West Virginia held a 42-36 edge on the glass.
The Wildcats posted 36 points in the paint, scoring 30 or more in the paint for the 16th time this season.
Edwards has now led the team in scoring 6 times and has scored in double figures a team-high 15 times.

“There’s not much I can say,” said head coach Bruce Weber. “We just didn’t play very well. Part of that is them forcing us to go fast. We didn’t react very well. I think a big stat is not only the turnovers, but the lack of assists. We needed to share the bas¬ketball and be more patient at times. When you go 1-of-18 from the 3-point line that doesn’t help your cause either. I think a lot of it was they had us rattled and going too fast. We were OK in halfcourt defense, but at the end of the first half they had a big shot to get momentum. We kind of hung in there, we kept talking about hav¬ing an ugly game and keeping it close to find a way to win, but they (West Virginia) just made too many plays. I think it’s ironic that they had two technicals and we ended up going 1-of-4 from the line. If you go study the next few foul calls I think it changed a lot, but that’s basketball and they’re a good team. He (Bob Huggins) has them playing well.”

Up Next
K-State returns home to Bramlage Coliseum on Saturday to host Ole Miss (12-7, 2-5 SEC) in the third annual Big 12-SEC Challenge presented by Sonic at 1 p.m. CT. Tickets are priced at $18.75 with the Wildcat4Pack, in which, fans can purchase four general admission seats for just $75. The contest will be televised on nationally on ESPNU with Jason Benetti and Reid Gettys on the call.