Defense wins championships, rebounds give you extra possessions but scoring points changes the scoreboard.
The Mountaineers carried their confidence from Rocket Mortgage Arena to the Phog Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon. Led by a first-half double-double but super-freshman Oscar Tshiebwe, the Mountaineers would lead by as many as ten in the first half.
The final two minutes were the first series of sloppy possessions for the Mountaineers, ending with a Chase Harler airball.
In the second-half a series of terrible officiating calls, wasted possessions and ultimately missed shots doomed the Mountaineers.
Despite out-rebounding Kansas 44-30 and grabbing 21 offensive rebounds, the Mountaineers would fall to 0-8 in Lawrence, losing 60-53.
Despite the obvious officiating mishaps, the Mountaineers had chances to win, cutting the lead to three points, 52-49, on a Taz Sherman drive with 1:28 remaining.
Not only was Emmitt Matthews trademark hair missing, his game seemed to be missing as well. Matthews was just 1-8 from the field including 0-2 from behind the arc. Jermaine Haley joined Matthews on the missing-in-action report with just two points, just shooting 1-5 from the floor.
Tshiebwe led the way with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Culver added 12 rebounds and five points. Miles McBride was the only other WVU double-digit scorer, adding 13 points on 4-11 shooting.
In a short turnaround, the Mountaineers return to action Monday at Oklahoma State.