|Points Per Game||81.0||81.8|
|Field Goal %||43.4||48.9|
|Rebounds Per Game||38.6||35.7|
|Assists Per Game||15.5||17.2|
|Blocks Per Game||5.1||4.3|
|Steals Per Game||8.5||6.6|
Location: Lawrence, Kansas. Allen Fieldhouse
The #20 West Virginia Mountaineers (19-7 8-5) head to Lawrence in a huge Big XII matchup against the #13 Kansas Jayhawks (20-6 9-4). Both teams are 3-2 in their last five games.
The Mountaineers have yet to win inside Allen Fieldhouse, although they have had their chances. They have lost by an average of 4.5 points in their last two trips to Lawrence.
West Virginia built a 13-point halftime lead in the first meeting in Morgantown and was up 16 early in the second half before losing the game. Kansas went on a 15-3 run to take a 63-60 lead with 3:17 to in the game.
West Virginia guard Jevon Carter would hit a jumper with two minutes left in the game to regain the lead 64-63 before Kansas forward Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk would make a layup to retake the lead, 65-64 on the ensuing possession.
The Jayhawks would finish the final minute and a half on a 6-2 run to pull away from the Mountaineers 71-66.
Kansas starters and what they did in the first meeting with West Virginia:
Senior guard Devonte’ Graham (6’2” 185-lbs) went 2-4 from three and got 12 of his 16 points in the second half. Finished the game with six assists. Leads the team in scoring (17.5) and assists (7.2). He is hitting 41.4% (77-186) from three-point range.
Senior guard/forward Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (6’8” 205-lbs) had 12 of his 17 points in the second half. Finished the game with five assists and four rebounds. Averaging 15.6 points on the season and shooting 44.4% (83-187) from behind the arc.
Freshman guard Marcus Garrett (6’5” 180-lbs) scored two points in 22 minutes. Averaging 4.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
Center Udoka Azubuike (7’0” 280-lbs) stayed in foul trouble for most of the game and only played 20 minutes but scored 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Averaging 13.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Shooting 76.5% from the field.
Sophomore guard Malik Newman (6’3” 190-lbs) got seven of his nine points in the second half and finished the game with six rebounds. Averaging 12.1 and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Coming off the bench:
Freshman forward Silvio De Sousa (6’9 245-lbs) wasn’t much of a factor in the first game. It was only his second game after waiting to be cleared by the NCAA. Scored two points in seven minutes. He has not been much of a factor for the Jayhawks, averaging 2.4 minutes a game.
Sophomore forward Mitch Lightfoot (6’8” 210-lbs) scored six points and had five rebounds. Averaging 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
Junior Guard Lagerald Vick (6’5” 175-lbs) had all nine of his points in the first half. Averaging 12.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate is the only West Virginia player that played consistently in both halfs. He led the Mountaineers with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Forward Esa Ahmad had 11 of his 15 points in the second half.
The story of the game was the second half collapse. They lacked energy on defense, leaving Kansas open in the corner for three’s and settled for jump shots on the offensive end.
Much like the Mountaineers did against TCU, they will have to play disciplined defense, especially off the ball. They cannot avoid getting sucked in on penetration and leave the Jayhawks open along the perimeter.
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has changed up the way they approach their offensive and have started feeding the ball to Sags in the post. Look for that to continue and maybe even trying to find Esa down on the block.
In the last two games the Mountaineers have shot over 50% from the field by being more aggressive towards the basket.
The Mountaineers need to play the whole 40 minutes and they can come away with their first win inside of Allen Fieldhouse. If they can get this win, they will still be in the hunt for the Big XII regular season title.