MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Fresh off upsetting No. 7 Oklahoma on Tuesday, the Kansas State men’s basketball team was as hot as it has been all season when K-State tipped off against No. 10 West Virginia in Morgantown on Saturday.
Despite keeping the game close in the first half, the Wildcats ultimately fell to the Mountaineers 65-43, getting outscored 39-21 in the second half.
Both WVU and K-State’s regular point guards were missing from the starting lineups with West Virginia (17-6, 10-4 Big 12) missing Miles “Deuce” McBride and the Wildcats (7-19, 3-13) without Nijel Pack. McBride eventually checked in, scoring five points in 23 minutes, but Pack was held out of action for the entire game.
Both teams started slow out of the gate, with only one basket being scored in the first three minutes. The Wildcats missed each of their first six shots and were just 3 for 15 from the floor 13 minutes into the game. Similarly, West Virginia began the game shooting 2 of 8. The Mountaineers went on a little 11 to 4 run to build up a bit of a lead, but went through their own dry spell, missing seven of their next eight shots.
WVU led by nine points with less than nine minutes left to play but Kansas State made three straight 3-pointers, the last two by senior Mike McGuirl, to cut into the Mountaineers’ lead. The Wildcats got the lead down to just one point with two minutes left before halftime but WVU was able to take a 26-22 lead into halftime.
The Mountaineers came out of halftime with all the momentum, scoring seven straight points to open the second half. WVU final built up a double-digit lead, leading 33-22 three minutes in. Junior Sean McNeil made WVU’s last two shots of the first half and the first of the second. He finished with 16 points on 6 of 16 shooting.
The Mountaineers pull away in the second half as their shooting improved and Kansas State could not keep up. The Mountaineers went on a 19 to 2 run at one point in the half. WVU shot 13 of 25 (52%) in the second half en route to the 65-43 win.
McNeil led West Virginia with 16 points while junior Derek Culver finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Senior Gabe Osabuohien was held scoreless but finished with seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and three steals.
The win helps secure WVU’s second-place standing in the Big 12 ahead of the Mountaineers’ matchup with No. 2 Baylor on Tuesday. That game will be the second of WVU’s four-game homestand, tipping off at 5 p.m. and broadcast on ESPN.