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WVU Outlasts K-State 65-59

The Mountaineer press turns over a stingy Kansas State team just enough in Manhattan, but it was close.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

The game only took seventeen seconds to get weird. Jonathan Holton gets called for some kind of a taunting foul during the first defensive possession and the whistle blowing never looked back.  The first half gave us 25 total fouls, 27 total turnovers, and both teams shooting under 30%. Both West Virginia and Kansas State refused to let up on defense causing the half court offensive sets to be sloppy at best. Luckily, the Mountaineers were able to go 10-13 during the first half from the free-throw line and go into the half with a 26-24 lead.

Merciful to all of our souls, the second half appeared to look more like basketball with field goals being converted. Jaysean Paige and Jevon Carter open up the shooting with long threes to give Devin Williams some space on the block to go to work, There was a moment where Juwan Staten looked bothered by his left wrist, but came back after a short breather. However, story of the game might be Tarik Philip, who was benched for the TCU game on Saturday, comes off the bench and absolutely balls out putting up a team-leading 12 points. Devin Williams also had a huge role in this game with eight points and nine rebounds. Juwan Staten and Jevon Carter did very well controlling the game, especially down the stretch, making slicing cuts through the lane to find the basket.

This game went right down to the wire with free-throw shooting being the key down the stretch. The Mountaineers couldn't get out of their own way with bad fouls, but the West Virginia press, which was tenacious throughout the game, paid dividends late with K-State gassed and unable to make the necessary plays to battle back. WVU ended up doing the job at the line to polish this game off. While there were several great individual performances in this one, the full court press absolutely won the game for the Mountaineers. The 25 Wildcat turnovers were made up of several ten second backcourt and five second inbounding violations and that doesn't factor in the way Kansas State just simply could not get comfortable throughout the game. Even on the road, #PressVirginia takes opponents out of their element and it claims another scalp.

West Virginia moves on with a 17-3 (4-2 Big 12) record to Saturday with a game in Morgantown against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at noon on ESPNU. WVU is now tied at second in the standings with Iowa State, only a half-game back from the pole position Kansas Jayhawks.