West Virginia entered the Phog Allen Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon looking for their first win on the road in Lawrence. Despite a valiant first half effort, the it was not meant to be as the Mountaineers fell 85-59.
The Mountaineers fell behind 11-5 early, but cut the Kansas lead to three on a Sean McNeil three pointer. The Mountaineers would use that as a momentum builder and eventually take the lead on a Malik Curry jumper with 12:35 to go in the first half. West Virginia would lead by as many as eight in the first half before a Kansas rally (and some seemingly swallowed whistles) allowed Kansas to storm back and take a 33-31 lead at the half.
West Virginia scored it’s last bucket of the first half at 4:14 and would not find the bottom of the net until 15:22 remained in the second half as Gabe Osabuohien would finally break the draught with a layup, cutting the Jayhawks lead to 42-33.
The second half would prove to be a Kansas highlight reel as they would outscore Bob Huggins crew 52-28 in the second stanza for a final score of 85-59.
There were several anomalies on the stat sheet for the Mountaineers.
Taz Sherman came into the contest averaging over 20 point per game. Sherman couldn’t get it going all afternoon scoring only one field goal and two free throws, finishing with five points.
McNeil also came in below his season average with just 10 points.
The shining light was Malik Curry who scored season best 23 points including an impressive 11 for 11 from the free throw line.
The Mountaineers as a team shot just 27% from the floor, including 22% from behind the arc. They were also out-rebounded 48-37 but did win the battle of the offensive boards 16-14.
A quick turn around for the Mountaineers pits them against another top ten foe, the Baylor Bears Tuesday in Morgantown at 5pm.