MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For the second time this season, the Kansas Jayhawks came back from a halftime deficit to defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers 58-49 Wednesday night.
No. 3 Kansas (21-3, 10-1 Big 12) also defeated No. 14 West Virginia (18-6, 6-5) 60-53 on Jan. 4.
The teams traded blows in the first half, with neither squad was able to build up a large lead. The largest lead of the half came when WVU guard Jordan McCabe made a three-pointer with a little more than a minute left to put West Virginia up 30-21.
The Mountaineers struggled a bit offensively in the first half, shooting only 11-31 (35.5%), but their defense held the Jayhawks in check. WVU did not allow either of KU’s best players to get going early on.
Kansas’s Devon Dotson entered the game leading the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 18 points per game. In the first half, Dotson scored only four points on 2-7 shooting. Big man Udoka Azubuike scored only two points and had two rebounds in the first half. Azubuike was also in foul trouble in the first half, picking up his second foul with eight and a half minutes left to play. Kansas’s other big man, David McCormack was also in foul trouble, picking up three in prior to halftime.
Just like in the teams’ first meeting, WVU freshman Oscar Tshiebwe had a big first half, scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds. Foul trouble slowed the big man down in the second half some, as he scored two points and had four rebounds. McCabe played maybe his best game of the season so far for the Mountaineers, scoring 10 points on 4-8 (50%) shooting.
The Jayhawks clamped down on WVU in the second half. The Mountaineers scored 19 second-half points on 8-29 (27.6%) shooting from the floor. Kansas outscored WVU 34-19 after halftime.
WVU out-rebounded Kansas 38-27, but committed 19 turnovers and were called for 16 personal fouls. The Jayhawks went 14-21 from the free-throw line.
West Virginia’s next game will be on the road against No. 1 Baylor. The Mountaineers and Bears will tip-off from Waco at 4 p.m. EST.