|Field Goal %||43.6||46.3|
|Three Point %||31.3||35.7|
|Free Throw %||84.6||71.4|
The West Virginia Mountaineers (9-9, 1-4) go their first Big 12 win of the season as they took down the No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks (15-3, 4-2) 65-64 Saturday afternoon inside the WVU Coliseum.
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins went with a different look in his starting lineup. Chase Harler and Esa Ahmad returned to the starting lineup along with Andrew Gordon making his first start.
Jermaine Haley got the crowd into it early. Haley deflected a pass out into the open court for a dunk for two of his early six points.
Lamont West finished a fast break with a dunk giving he Mountaineers took an early 12-9 lead before Kansas ripped off six straight points.
Beetle Bolden responded with a hard drive to his left – went up with the ball – brought it down to his ankles, before tossing it up for the score. He followed that up with a euro step down the lane to regain the Mountaineer lead 16-15.
After four straight points for Gordon, it was Bolden again driving down the lane – drawing the contact and the foul for a three-point play, putting the Mountaineers up 23-21 late in the half.
Kansas’s Quentin Grimes tied the game up at 23 as time expired in the first half.
The Mountaineers forced 13 Kansas turnovers, but was out-rebounded by six in the first 20 minutes.
Neither team shot the ball well in the first half; however, they both came out hot in the second half.
West Virginia’s Derek Culver drew first blood and the Mountaineers started the second half 4-4 from the field including 2-2 from the three-point line but still trailed by four.
WVU was trailing by five before Esa Ahmad hit back-to-back threes. Nonetheless, Grimes responded on the following possession, hitting a three to give the Jayhawks back the lead.
Kansas looked as if they where going to break the game open at any moment. With Kansas gaining momentum up five, Derek Culver grabbed an offensive rebound and went up strong – drawing the contact and the foul completing a three-point play.
The Mountaineers were battling a top 10 team in the country, but with 2:23 left in the game, they were trailing by six when Huggins called a 30-sec timeout.
Out of the timeout they worked the ball to the high post to Derek Culver who then Found Wes Harris open in the corner his only three of the game.
The Mountaineers got within one after Bolden fed the ball to Culver down in the paint for the tough lay-in.
West Virginia forced a tough lay-up then after a quick turnover from Culver forced Lagerald Vick to take a tough three and the defensive rebound by Haley gave the Mountaineers a chance down one with 28 seconds left in the game.
There was 11 seconds left in the game when Haley decided to drive the ball down the right side of the lane and banked it over Grimes to give the Mountaineers a one-point lead with eight seconds remaining in the game.
Lagerald Vick worked for a shot along the wing but ended up settling for a fad away three in the corner that came up short and a put back attempt from Dedric Lawson was also short as the Mountaineers went on to upset the No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks.
“Well, we ran the same thing. I think we ran it three times in a row. It was just an isolation freeze, so we tried to draw it to him close or draw help.” Said Huggins after the game as he explains the final sequences of the game. “They helped from Wes (Harris), which you figure he would, he had just missed two threes. I told Derek (Culver) to give it to Wes if they run in and try to double inside and, of course, he made one. Then, we get a stop, and Derek threw it back to him. Then, we get another stop. We got three stops in the last three possessions – that’s hard to do against anybody, much less them. We’ve been on Jermaine (Haley) just to drive it at the basket. He did it in the first half, then he didn’t in the second half. But Bill (Self) to switch something. What we were doing was working and we were getting kind of what we wanted, so there wasn’t much sense to call timeout.”
West Virginia was trailing by one and needed a stop. Beetle Bolden denied Kansas point guard Devon Dotson from getting the ball which resulted in the clock shot winding down and Quentin Grimes forcing a tough shot around the rim.
“We talk about that all of the time. When coaches want to practice running offense, what do they do?” Said Huggins. “They always give it to their point guard. They don’t ever give it to their center. They give it to their point guard and run everything through them. We’ve tried to do that. We did it really well when we had JC (Jevon Carter) and Tarik (Phillip). We did it really well. We haven’t done it as well. Beetle knew not to let the decision maker get it back. (Dedric) Lawson had it and had it around half court. I didn’t tell him to do it, but he knew to do it from what we’ve had in the past.”
West Virginia held Kansas below all their offensive averages. Kansas came into the game averaging 48.1% from the field, 35.5% from three and 78.8 points per game. The Mountaineers held them to 43.6% (22-55) from the floor, 31.3% (5-16) from behind the arc and 64 points.
“We stayed in front of them. We’ve had a hard time staying in front of anybody.” Commented Huggs.
The Mountaineers have a quick turnaround as they host Baylor Monday night inside the WVU Coliseum at 9:00 pm.
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