No. 6 West Virginia (13-1, 2-0) earned its second straight conference win and 13th consecutive victory by defeating Kansas State (11-3, 1-1) 77-69 at the Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan. Monday night.
Offensively, the Mountaineers dominated in the post, scoring 40 of their 77 points in the paint and holding Kansas State to 18 points in the paint. Overall, West Virginia shot 54 percent from the field to Kansas State’s 36, but the Wildcats managed to stay alive for most of the game through scoring 25 points off West Virginia turnovers and their free throw shooting, going 19-of-25 from the line to West Virginia’s 13-of-16.
Freshman forward Teddy Allen led the Mountaineers with 22 points off the bench and sophomore forward Lamont West scored 19.
For Kansas State, sophomore Xavier Sneed led the Wildcats with 20 points and was 6-of-9 from three-point range.
Kansas State drew first blood with a three-pointer from Sneed and the Wildcats would jump out to a 5-2 lead at the 18:38 mark in the first half.
West Virginia sophomores Sagaba Konate, Maciej Bender and West would each score their first points of the game to give the Mountaineers their first lead of the game as Kansas State missed six straight shots from the field.
Kansas State’s Dean Wade then completed a three-point play to help the Wildcats regain the lead, but Kansas State would then go cold shooting and were 2-of-14 from the field at one point. This paved the way for a 10-0 run for West Virginia as the Mountaineers took an 18-9 lead with 11:02 left in the first half.
A jump shot from Wade and a layup from Barry Brown would end West Virginia’s run as the Wildcats narrowed their deficit to 18-13 at the 8:55 mark. Sophomore James “Beetle” Bolden would then add seven straight points for West Virginia to give the Mountaineers a 25-15 lead.
The Wildcats would then go on a 7-0 run to come within three points of the Mountaineers, but West Virginia would extend its lead to eight points with a tipin from West and four straight points from Allen off the bench. Kansas State’s Cartier Diarra would hit a three-pointer for the Wildcats near the end of the first half, but West Virginia would still take a 31-26 lead at halftime.
Allen led West Virginia with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting after one half as the Mountaineers finished the first half shooting 52 percent to Kansas State’s 28 percent. West Virginia committed nine turnovers to Kansas State’s eight in the first half and each scored 10 points off turnovers.
Through the first five minutes in the second half, West Virginia outscored Kansas State 11-7 and extended its lead to 42-33, but the Wildcats would go on a 6-0 run and trailed the Mountaineers 42-39 with 14:01 left to play.
West Virginia would again extend its lead with the help of Bolden’s second three-pointer of the game and back-to-back baskets from senior Daxter Miles and West to make it 49-42 with 11:10 left to play.
Four Kansas State free throws and four points from Allen made it a seven-point game in favor of the Mountaineers. West would then hit his first three-pointer of the game to give West Virginia its largest lead of the game at 59-49, but Sneed would answer back with his fifth three-pointer of the game to cut West Virginia’s lead back to seven points.
From there, West Virginia would hold off a late rally from Kansas State with the help of eight points from Allen and three from Miles on its way to a 77-69 victory.
The Mountaineers will return to Morgantown Saturday for a top-10 clash against No. 7 Oklahoma at 7:15 p.m.