Shorthanded Mountaineers Destroyed By Jayhawks
West Virginia’s lineup may have been different, but the outcome wasn’t, as WVU was hammered on the road again, this time at Kansas, 78-53.
The loss at Allen Fieldhouse Saturday dropped the Mountaineers to 10-15 on the season and 2-10 in Big 12 action. Meanwhile the win was the third straight for KU, which is now 20-6 overall and 9-4 in the league as the Jayhawks are fighting for at least a share of their 15th straight Big 12 title.
WVU has now lost 11 of its last 13 games.
None of what transpired in Lawrence should have come as a surprise. After all, West Virginia’s four previous road games had each resulted in defeats by at least 17 points. Three of those were by more than 25. Now add yet another blowout loss to that list.
Add into that the dismissals this week of starting forwards Esa Ahmad and Wes Harris, as well as the continued injuries to veterans Beetle Bolden and Sagaba Konate, and WVU head coach Bob Huggins used yet another different starting lineup Saturday. Without Ahmad and Harris, Mountaineer freshman forward Emmitt Matthews got the first start of his college career. Every player on West Virginia’s roster this season has now started at least one game other than freshman guard Trey Doomes.
The new Mountaineer lineup gave the visitors a little spark for the first five minutes at Kansas, as WVU held a 7-6 lead after a Brandon Knapper three-pointer. But then things quickly went south for West Virginia, as KU took off on a 21-2 run over the next nine minutes. The Mountaineers never got within 15 again. By halftime the Jayhawk lead had grown to 43-16 and the home team cruised through the second half en route to their seventh straight victory over WVU at Allen Fieldhouse. West Virginia does have a 5-2 record of Kansas in Morgantown, including a 65-64 victory over KU earlier this season.
Chase Harler and Lamont West were the only Mountaineers to reach the double figures in the scoring column, as they each had 11. Freshman center Derek Culver was limited to nine points, but he did have 12 rebounds. Five different Jayhawks scored 10 or more with Devon Dotson and K.J. Dawson leading the way with 15 each.
WVU turned the ball over 24 times and made just 20-of-59 field goal attempts. Meanwhile Kansas converted 28-of-53 from the floor and 8-of-20 from three.
The Mountaineers return home for their next game, as they host Kansas State (19-5/9-2) Monday at 9 p.m.