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Mountaineers Cannot Climb Out of Early Hole at Kansas State

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For just the third time this season, No. 12 West Virginia lost Saturday afternoon.

The Mountaineers (14-3, 3-2 Big 12) could not dig out of an early hole as the Kansas State Wildcats (8-9, 1-4) were able to pick up their first conference win of the season 84-68.

Turnovers plagued West Virginia all game long. The Mountaineers committed 18 on the day, with K-State racking up 13 steals. Kansas State entered the game leading the Big 12 in steals (8.6 per game) while WVU entered leading in turnovers (15.3).

Off of those 18 WVU turnovers, the Wildcats were able to score 28 points. Starters Jordan McCabe, Emmitt Matthews Jr. and Jermaine Haley all turned the ball over three times.

The Wildcats held a 42-25 lead at halftime and were able to grow that lead to 23 points with 12:12 left to play in the second half. That was when the Mountaineers started to put it together.

From 12:12 to 9:02 West Virginia went on a 15-0 run that brought K-State’s lead back into single digits, 57-49. On that run, Chase Harler and Miles McBride both scored five points. WVU could never get the lead under six points however as Kansas State was able to hit free throws down the stretch to maintain its lead.

The officials called a tight game as both teams struggled with fouls at points in the game. Sophomore big man Derek Culver played only five minutes in the first half after picking up two early fouls. Culver finished with eight points and three rebounds in 22 minutes played with three fouls.

Harler also finished with three fouls as McBride had four and Gabe Osabuohien had five. Osabuohien scored a season-high 10 points.

Kansas State was led by Cartier Diarra who scored 25 points on 8-14 (57.1%) shooting. As a whole the Wildcats shot well, making 29-49 (59.2%) from the floor.

West Virginia will have a short turnaround as the Mountaineers host the Texas Longhorns Monday night in the WVU Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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