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West Virginia cruises past Kansas State, 65-43

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The Mountaineers turned it on in the second half to dispose of the Wildcats. Next up: Baylor.

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

There have been seasons when 26 first half points was expected for WVU, this isn’t one of those seasons. The Mountaineers are offensively improved, bordering on impressive, which make 26 points against Kansas State in the first half of Saturday’s contest a surprise.

The Mountaineers shot an uncharacteristic 33% in the first stanza. While they did not trail the entire game, the first half proved stagnant, The lead at the half was just four points, 26-22.

The second half started very different for West Virginia. The Mountaineers extended their lead to 11 in the first 2:15 of the second half, 33-22. They would then plateau, allowing the Wildcats to stay hang around for the first ten minutes. Kansas State cut the lead to eight points, 34-42 with 11:14 remaining before the under 12 minute television timeout.

Bob Huggins’ team would return to the floor motivated, rattling off 17 unanswered points over the next six minutes, taking the unrelinquishable lead at the score of 59-34.

The Mountaineers completed the knockout of the Wildcats by 22 points, winning the game by the final score of 65-43.

Sean McNeil led all scorers with a game-high 16 points. Derek Culver was the only other Mountaineer in double figures with 11 points. Interestingly, Kansas State actually out-rebounded WVU, 36-35. The real difference maker was on the offensive glass where WVU won the battle 14-9.

Jordan McCabe turned in a stellar performance scoring seven points with two assists and no turnovers, taking advantage of his opportunity to be in the starting lineup. Miles McBridge came off the bench because they were trying to rest him for the week ahead, according to Coach Huggins after the game.

The win against Lon Kruger’s Wildcats was the 898th for Bob Huggins.

The Mountaineers will look to give him win number 899 on Wednesday against Baylor, while hoping to deal Bears their first loss of the season. Unless Baylor can come up with yet another excuse to avoid West Virginia, the game will be at 5pm on Wednesday in Morgantown.