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No. 6 Kansas Holds Onto 71-58 Win as West Virginia’s Shooting Woes Continue

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Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — For the past two weeks, West Virginia has been trying to “shock the world.” The Mountaineers had their chance to do so, but eventually fell to No. 6 Kansas, 71-58.

West Virginia (14-12, 3-10 Big 12) shot 28 percent from the field, continuing their shooting woes this season. Kansas (22-4, 11-2 Big 12) now moves to 4-6 all-time at the WVU Coliseum since West Virginia joined the Big 12 in 2012.

Big man play once again was the difference between a win and a loss for West Virginia. Kansas scored 40 points in the paint, compared to West Virginia’s 12. KU center David McCormack gave the Mountaineers hell once again. In the first matchup between the two, McCormack recorded 19 points and 15 rebounds in a blowout win. This time around, it was the same story. McCormack finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, recording another double-double against WVU.

A 9-0 run at the beginning of the second half by the Jayhawks took all of the West Virginia momentum away. Then, the Mountaineers countered with a 10-0 run of their own. A three-pointer by Sean McNeil took the roof off the coliseum, with the fans’ loudest eruption of the night. McNeil connected on 4-three’s, scoring 18 points.

Gabe Osabuohien checked into the game in the early stages, making his return back to the court since last Saturday. Osabuohien missed Monday night’s game against Kansas State due to a coaching decision made by head coach Bob Huggins. At the end of the Oklahoma State game last Saturday, Osabuohien was charged with two technicals after running his mouth with the officials. Huggins had some words for Osabuohien as the forward was walking off the floor.

A layup made by Kedrian “Keddy” Johnson was 1-of-4 layups made in the first half. The Mountaineers shot 4-of-13 off of layups in the beginning of the game.

Miles “Deuce” McBride, Joe Mazzulla and other former Mountaineer greats were in attendance for the game on Saturday night. McBride has spent his rookie season moving back-and-forth from the New York Knicks and the Knicks’ G-League team. McBride has appeared in 21 NBA games, starting in two games for the Knicks. In the G-League, McBride has played seven games, averaging 30.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 10.7 assists, 2.6 steals and 0.9 blocks per game.

Mazzulla is still assisting the Boston Celtics under first year head coach Ime Udoka. The former WVU guard was hired in 2019 by former Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as an assistant. Mazzulla was a part of the 2010 Final Four team.

WVU fifth-year senior Taz Sherman finished Saturday night with 16 points. Sherman is now 17 points away from becoming the 55th 1,000-point scorer in West Virginia basketball history.

The Mountaineers did a great job at controlling the ball against Kansas, only turning it over five times.

Notable scorers for West Virginia were McNeil (18), Sherman (16) and Jalen Bridges (9).

The Mountaineers will turn right around and head out of Morgantown on Sunday for a road trip to TCU and Iowa State. West Virginia will play in Fort Worth on Monday night, to make up the original Jan. 3 game against the Horned Frogs. WVU and TCU are set to tip off at 8 p.m. on ESPN+.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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