WVU Finds Doom Again At Kansas State
They call it “The Octagon of Doom”, this building named Bramlage Coliseum that houses Kansas State basketball, and you won’t find a West Virginia player who won’t agree with the nickname after losing, 84-68 on Saturday afternoon.
A year ago WVU had a 21-point lead with 17:41 left and found a way to lose, 71-69. That was disheartening but came from a team that had no heart.
This game was just disgusting.
Some will say this kind of thing to West Virginia because it is the youngest team in the Big 12, but don’t try to sell that to coach Bob Huggins.
“We have three seniors who have been here,” he said, speaking through the gloom of defeat. “They sat in this locker room last year. We have juniors who sat in this locker as we were up 21 and lost. They saw it crumble. I told them, this is where it went south a year ago.”
Who knows how they will react to this loss, playing Texas at home on Monday?
They had come into Manhattan sporting a No. 12 national ranking and knowing a victory would put them over the top and into the Top Ten. You would have thought that would be inspiration for perspiration.
Instead it just led to desperation.
By halftime they were down 17. The deficit grew to 24 in the second half before Gabe Osabuohien and Chase Harler injected some life into the Mountaineers. Turning up the pressure on defense and finally making shots they went on a 20-2 run and narrowed that 24-point lead to six with 7:47 to play.
Then the tank hit empty.
“Basketball is a mental game,” Osabuohien said. “Coach had put players on the floor that were giving 100 percent and we reaped what our effort was. It made the game close, pulled it, but we just couldn’t — the lead was too big.”
You name it, it was bad for the Mountaineers, who fell to 14-3, 3-2 in the Big 12. But if there was anything that defined the frustration of the afternoon it was found in Kansas State’s success from 3-point range.
The Mountaineers came into the game second in the nation defending 3-point shooting, allowing just 23.8 percent of 3s to be made. At the same time, Kansas State was 230th in the nation at 32.3 percent.
So what happened?
Kansas State made 9 of 18, 50 percent of their 3-point shots.
And even more difficult to explain, K-State made 59.8 percent of all its field goals.
“We weren’t ready,” Huggins said. “It’s so much a mind game The talk in the media around here was, ‘They’re desperate, 0-4 in the league.’ Our guys weren’t desperate.”
It didn’t make much of an impression.
“We shot 50 percent from the free throw line. How you gonna win? We had 18 turnovers. How you gonna win? I told them, you throw it away, you aren’t going to win. They’ve been told that and told that and told that and told that. It was so bad yesterday that I said, ‘If you throw it away, you’re going to run.’ And we ran yesterday … some.”
Apparently not enough.
“You can’t explain to them that you can’t get this back. This was a great opportunity … gone,” Huggins added.
Cartier Diarra was unstoppable for K-State, scoring 25 points. That is double his season average. Xavier Sneed had 15.
“Two guys will beat you, I said. And those two guy beat us. We let guys just stand there and make shots. It was very frustrating,,” Huggins said.
In a game like this one the numbers don’t lie. No WVU starter reached double figures in scoring. Reserves Miles McBride and Chase Harler lead the way with 11 and Gabe Osabuohien gott his first double figure game as a Mountaineer with 10.
There were 18 turnovers and only 12 assists.