Dating back to 2013, WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia has been a brutal environment for Kansas men's basketball. In seven games there, the Jayhawks had won just twice. Of the five losses, Kansas was the higher ranked team in all of them. Coming into Wednesday, that record in a seven-game span was the worst mark for Kansas against a team in the Big 12 on the road.
With 13:28 to go in Wednesday's game, the Jayhawks appeared destined to keep that ugly trend going. After West Virginia freshman guard Miles McBride drained a jumper from the left elbow, Kansas coach Bill Self burned a timeout to slow down the Mountaineers 11-2 spurt.
Trailing 41-32, the Jayhawks needed to find a spark. With sophomore guard Devon Dotson and senior center Udoka Azubuike limited to seven first half points on 3-of-10 combined shooting, the offense found itself sputtering and showing few signs of life against the defensive pressure of West Virginia.
The spark the Jayhawks needed came in an area that has given the Kansas backcourt fits all year. Down by seven points with 9:30 left, Dotson fired a 3-pointer from the corner. Though he shot just 28.1% from three coming into the night, Dotson buried the attempt and cut the deficit to four points. Not only would the 3-pointer inch the Jayhawks closer to reclaiming the lead, but it would ignite one of the best runs Kansas manufactured to close out a game this season.
Just over four minutes later, senior guard Isaiah Moss would give the Jayhawks their first lead since the 14:28 mark of the first half at 49-48.
Moss pushed Kansas out in front for good on his third 3-pointer with 4:54 left. The Chicago native finished with a team-high three 3-pointers and 13 points off the bench.
When the final horn sounded, the Jayhawks had closed the game on a 21-5 run. Azubuike, Dotson, and Moss were the only players to score during that span. The Mountaineers last field goal came with 5:59 left in the game.
The 49 points allowed by Kansas was the third time its held a conference opponent to 50 or less points. Additionally, the 49 points was West Virginia's lowest total of the season. In all, the Jayhawk defense limited the Mountaineers to 32% shooting and forced 19 turnovers.
Up next, Kansas will return home for a brief two-game homestand. First up is the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. on ESPN.