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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: Mountaineers fall to K-State, but get elite invite for next season

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Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 02 Jimmy V Classic - Gonzaga v West Virginia Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.

TOUGH ROAD LOSS

The West Virginia men’s basketball team scored 42 points in the first half to build a seven-point lead on Tuesday, but Kansas State stormed back to beat the Mountaineers, 78-73. Fifth-year senior Taz Sherman scored 15 points in the first half and finished the game with a team-high 23, and redshirt freshman Isaiah Cottrell had the best offensive game of his career with 13 points, but a ten-minute field goal drought for WVU in the second half doomed the Mountaineers. The extended drought was also accompanied by a K-State run, where WVU was giving up easy buckets.

The Mountaineers are now 14-11 with a 3-9 Big 12 record that puts them near the bottom of the conference. Their next game is in Morgantown on Saturday night against #6 Kansas. The game is sold out and will be nationally televised on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. ET.

PHIL KNIGHT INVITE

This basketball season isn’t completely over yet, but looking ahead to next year, WVU has just received an invitation to participate in the 2022 Phil Knight Legacy in Portland, Oregon, in November. The event has become one of the top early-season tournaments in college basketball because it features some of the nation’s top Nike sponsored teams. The Mountaineers are joined by Duke, Gonzaga, Purdue, Florida, Xavier, Oregon State, and Portland State in the 2022 field. The actual bracket matchups will be announced at a later date, but WVU will be playing in three non-conference games at this event next fall.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • Now that the NFL season is over, let’s take a look at how former West Virginia football players performed for their pro teams this year. Offensive lineman Quinton Spain made his first Super Bowl appearance with the Cincinnati Bengals, and cornerback Rasul Douglas made some big play for the Green Bay Packers, but how did the rest of the Mountaineers perform?
  • After suffering its first loss of the season to #2 Kentucky, the West Virginia rifle team is still in the running for a national championship. The Mountaineers are currently ranked #4 in the country and have their NCAA Qualifying Match coming up on Saturday.
  • The West Virginia gymnastics team has now won five matchups in a row, following its wins over Pitt and Texas Woman’s last Friday. The Mountaineers also have one of the country’s top floor exercise lineups, ranking 15th in the latest Road to Nationals rankings.

AROUND THE BIG 12

  • #6 Kansas held off the Oklahoma State basketball team on Monday night, with senior guard Ochai Agbaji leading the Jayhawks to a 76-62 win. West Virginia will face KU on Saturday night in Morgantown in front of a sold-out crowd.
  • In this week’s Big 12 men’s basketball weekly awards, Kansas forward Jalen Wilson was named the Player of the week and Baylor guard James Akinjo was selected as the Newcomer of the Week.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The 2022 NFL Draft order is now set. Jacksonville has the first pick, and the Jaguars have a long list of needs, while the Detroit Lions are picking second overall and could be looking for a young player to build around on defense.

Have any tips, suggestions or requests for what you want to see in The Shotgun Throwdown? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us on social media.

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