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Inconsistency Strikes West Virginia Once More as Kansas State Closes Game, 78-73



Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

Another game, same story for West Virginia. The Mountaineers failed to put together two consistent halves, and Kansas State closed the game out in the second half, winning by a score of 78-73, in Manhattan, Ks.

It was another case of inconsistent play for West Virginia (14-11, 3-9 Big 12), as the Mountaineers had a great offensive first half, and an equally as poor second half. WVU was up 10 points in the second half, but that lead didn’t last after a prolonged shooting drought.

A layup by Keddy Johnson ended a 10-minute field goal drought, as WVU missed 10-straight field goals. During the drought, Kansas State (14-11, 6-7 Big 12) was able to take advantage with a 13-3 run and regain the lead.

As usual, when West Virginia needed a basket, they went to Taz Sherman. Sherman played well in the first half, before going quiet in most of the second half. The guard hit a contested mid-range shot with two minutes left to keep West Virginia in the game. Sherman ended the night with 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field.

Isaiah Cottrell chose to have his best game of the season on Monday night. A wide-open Cottrell at the top of the key resulted in his second-made three of the game. Cottrell’s three extended the WVU lead to 10 points. The redshirt freshman connected on three of the first five field goals in the second half. Cottrell came into the game averaging 3.7 points and finished with 13 points.

Fifth-year senior Gabe Osabuohien was placed in the “dog house” against Kansas State after the incident in the Oklahoma State game. At the end of Saturday’s game, Osabuohien was charged with two technicals after running his mouth with the officials. WVU head coach Bob Huggins had some words for Osabuohien as the forward was walking off the floor. Safe to say Huggins was teaching Osabuohien a lesson on Monday night for not playing him.

West Virginia went back to its traditional lineup that Huggins ran with for most of the season up until the Iowa State game last Tuesday. He had freshman guard Kobe Johnson in for Johnson and Pauly Paulicap in for Cottrell. The coaching staff kept this for the Oklahoma State game over the weekend as well. On Monday night, the Mountaineers went back to Johnson and Cottrell.

A noticeable statistic in the column was the 39 free-throws attempted by Kansas State. The Mountaineers fouled KSU 23 times.

Notable scorers for West Virginia were Sherman (23), Keddy Johnson (15), and Cottrell (13).

Next up for West Virginia is welcoming No. 6 Kansas into town on Saturday. The Mountaineers and Jayhawks will tip off at 8 p.m. in Morgantown.

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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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