West Virginia falls to Kansas 61-78 in second round of Big 12 Tournament
After defeating Texas Tech in the opening round, West Virginia fell in the quarter-final of the Big 12 Tournament to the top seeded Kansas Jayhawks, 78-61 .
Erik Stevenson blocked a layup on Kansas’ opening possession, but it was still the Jayhawks who would score first on a shot from deep.
A wild series of turnovers finally ended in another bucket for the Jayhawks, their lead 9-4 through the first five minutes of action.
Consecutive buckets by Erik Stevenson plus a slam by Emmitt Matthews gave West Virginia their first lead of the night. James Okonkwo then came up with a big block on the other end for the Mountaineers.
Two more nice jumpers by Stevenson and Mitchell had WVU up by one through the first ten minutes.
Seconds later, Gradey Dick hit a three to put Kansas back ahead.
A 10-0 Kansas run extended their lead to seven, with six to go in the first.
A minute later, the Jayhawks led by 11.
With two minutes left, the Mountaineers had scored just two points in the last seven minutes.
Joe Toussaint then hit the first three of the game for WVU to end the drought, the Mountaineers now facing an eight point deficit.
The half came to a close at a score of 31-23 , the Jayhawks with the lead.
West Virginia failed to generate on offense, the highest scorers being Stevenson and Matthews with just six apiece.
Tre Mitchell got a quick bucket for WVU to get within six to start the second half.
Two minutes later, a bucket by Jalen Wilson had Kansas up by 10.
Shortly after, a Tre Mitchell three ball shortened that lead to five.
After the first five minutes of the second half, West Virginia was behind by six.
A minute later, Seth Wilson canceled out a three from Gradey Dick with one of his own. Then, the Mountaineers drew an offensive foul.
Erik Stevenson then hit a three and Joe Toussaint scored in transition to make it a four point game.
Stevenson and Matthews connected for a dunk, the Mountaineers still within four.
Kansas’ Jalen Wilson got his 20th point of the night on a three to give his team a nine point lead.
James Okonkwo finished a strong alley-oop, but Gradey Dick hit back with a contested three to give the Jayhawks a ten point lead.
A huge alley-oop extended Kansas’ lead to 14 with under seven to play.
The Mountaineers had the deficit down to single digits with five minutes remaining in the contest.
With just one minute to go, things looked dire for West Virginia who was by 14.
Kanas was able to close it out with a 78-61 victory.
West Virginia will now wait for Selection Sunday to determine the March Madness future.
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