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Big Second Half Effort From No. 9 Kansas Too Much as WVU Falls, 85-59

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Photo: Julia Mellett / WVSN

A great offensive effort in the second half from No. 9 Kansas overwhelmed West Virginia, 85-59 at the historic Allen Fieldhouse.

West Virginia (12-3, 2-2 Big 12) falls to an all-time 0-10 at Allen Fieldhouse that dates back to 2013.

Kansas (13-2, 3-1 Big 12) went into halftime with a 33-31 lead, but that deficit for WVU wasn’t as bad as the final score. Behind big man David McCormack, who has struggled all season, the Jayhawks came out with a lot of energy in the second half. If Ochai Agbaji or Jalen Wilson missed an occasional shot, McCormack was right there to get the rebound and put the ball in the net. KU out-scored West Virginia 52-28 in the second half.

It just wasn’t Taz Sherman’s day. For the first time this season, Sherman scored in single-digits, finishing with five points, on 1-of-9 shooting. Sherman scored his first points with 5:29 left in the first half, making a pair of free-throws and his first basket with 5:06 in the second half. On back-to-back possessions, Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji made a three-pointer and a mid-range shot to give the Jayhawks the late first half lead. Heading into Saturday, Agbaji was the leading scorer in the Big 12, averaging 20.6 points, with Sherman right behind him. Agbaji finished with 20 points on 8-of-17 from the field, equaling his season average.

With Sherman not as productive as he has been all season, West Virginia needed someone to step up against Kansas. Hello, Malik Curry. A mid-range jumper by Curry gave West Virginia a 15-14 lead, as the fifth-year senior went on a personal 4-0 run. Curry looked like the best offensive player on the court for WVU on Saturday, as the Delaware native drove into the paint, giving the Jayhawks problems. Curry headed to the line a lot against Kansas, shooting it very well from the charity stripe.

A positive for West Virginia was the great free-throw shooting. Against Oklahoma State on Tuesday, WVU made 21-of-22 free-throws. The great free-throw shooting continued against the Jayhawks, as the Mountaineers shot 21-of-28 from the line. Curry was 11-of-11 from the line and Jalen Bridges was 4-of-4.

Kansas was without starting guard Remy Martin due to a right knee injury. Martin, an Arizona State transfer, has played 13 games with his new team, averaging 9.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists.  Kansas G DeJuan Harris started in place of Martin.

West Virginia will turn right around and prepare to host No. 1 Baylor, in Morgantown, on Tuesday night. The game between the Mountaineers and Bears is scheduled to tip off at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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