Some games are just ugly. West Virginia is involved in many of those games in the Big 12.
Saturday was another one of those games.
There was, however, beauty to be found in this game in the form of Derek Culver doing his best Hercules impression.
Culver seemed to consistently snag rebound after rebound surrounded by inferior peasants from Kansas State.
The Mountaineers started off right with a Emmitt Matthews three-pointer. WVU and KSU would continue trading the lead back and forth before West Virginia went on a run and lead by nine, 25-16, on a Brandon Knapper three-point jumper with 5:29 to go in the half.
The Wildcats would battle back and close the deficit to 30-27 at the break.
The second half was more of the same from two gritty, defensive-minded teams.
The Mountaineers didn’t get their first bucket of the second half for 3:36 when Chase Harler made a bucket from deep. WVU would then go on a run, leading by as many as 14.
Kansas State would hang around and keep it close but the Mountaineers would prevail 66-57 when the final horn sounded.
Culver was the leader for West Virginia with 19 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Oscar Tshiebwe finished with eight points and eight rebounds.
Stats That Matter
West Virginia out-rebounded Kansas State 38-32 (13-10 on the offensive glass).
The Mountaineers committed more turnovers (mainly on lazy passes) than Kansas State, 15-14
West Virginia’s free throw percentage was 64% as Derek Culver came down to earth after his 14-16 performance at Texas Tech. This was still ten percentage points better than they shot at Kansas State.
West Virginia held Kansas State to just 17% shooting from behind the arc. The Wildcats were just 3-17, compared to the loss in Manhattan when they were 9-18 (50%).
West Virginia returns to action Wednesday against Iowa State at the Coliseum.