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No. 3 Kansas Fights Off West Virginia in Final Seconds, 76-74



Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

No. 3 Kansas was able to secure a win over West Virginia, 76-74, despite the Mountaineers showing a lot of fight in the second half.

West Virginia (16-13, 5-11 Big 12) had an opportunity to tie the game at the end of regulation but Joe Toussaint was called for a travel after great defense by Kansas (24-5, 12-4 Big 12).

Toussaint’s travel was WVU’s 21st turnover of the game, the most this season.

WVU’s Erik Stevenson and Tre Mitchell continued their great performances from Monday into the game against Kansas. Stevenson and Mitchell down the stretch answered many Kansas shots.

With four minutes left in the game, Stevenson answered a Jayhawk three with one of his own to cut the deficit to two.

Stevenson finished with 23 points on 9-of-22 shooting from the field, while Mitchell had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

Out of the break, Kansas freshman guard Gradey Dick connected on a transition three in the corner to give the Jayhawks a 6-point lead heading into the under-16 media timeout. The Jayhawks extended their lead to eight points after starting 4-of-4 from three to begin the second half.

In most situations, this would’ve been the trend towards the end of the game but WVU showed some fight in the remainder of the second half.

The Mountaineers got back into the game behind second chance opportunities. WVU pulled down 14 offensive rebounds on Saturday, scoring 11 second chance points.

West Virginia was listed as Joe Lunardi’s “last four byes” before the conclusion of the game.

WVU F Mohamed Wague missed the game due to a right foot injury. WVU’s basketball program announced an hour before the game that Wague was out indefinitely. Sources tell WV Sports Now that Wague’s injury is a stress fracture that has built up for a few games now. Wague is averaging 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds for the Mountaineers this season.

West Virginia entered Saturday’s game in Lawrence 0-10 all-time at Allen Fieldhouse. The closest game was a 4-point loss in overtime back in 2017.

West Virginia will stay on the road and travel to Ames, IA, to take on Iowa State on Monday. Iowa State is coming off a loss to Oklahoma as they look to host WVU. The Mountaineers and Cyclones will tip off at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

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