The West Virginia Mountaineers (8-7, 0-3) are off to an 0-3 conference start for the first time since Gale Catlett’s final season in Morgantown after a 71-69 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats (11-4, 1-2) in Manhattan, Kansas on Wednesday night.
West Virginia took a 15 point lead into the locker room at the half, and built the lead to 21 in the opening minutes of the second half before allowing the Wildcats to fight their way back into the game, chipping away at the Mountaineer lead. Kansas State would take the lead with 2:30 remaining when Xavier Sneed drained a corner three while being fouled by Lamont West.
I can offer no real analysis of the loss because I’m completely dumbfounded right now. West Virginia has a serious problem, and I’m not sure there’s any way for Bob Huggins to fix it this season.
If you’re looking for a ray of light shining through the darkness, look no further than Derek Culver. The true freshman forward has been the lone reason to continue watching this Mountaineer squad over the last 5 games. He finished tonight’s contest with 17 points, 12 rebounds and a block in 34 minutes of play.
Lamont West showed a little of what we’ve seen from him in the past, leading the team with 21 points on 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. Jermaine Haley added 13 points and 3 assists.
The Mountaineers return to action on Saturday when they take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Morgantown. That game tips off at Noon EST and will be broadcast on ESPNU.
For those playing along at home, the 2002 West Virginia squad started their conference slate 0-7 before picking up their first win over the Providence Friars. The Mountaineers will need to win one of the following games to avoid setting the record for worst conference start in program history.