Kansas men's basketball came back from a nine-point second half West Virginia lead to steal a 58-49 win in Morgantown on Wednesday night.
After winning the opening tipoff, Kansas’ first possession ended with a traveling violation called on junior guard Marcus Garrett. West Virginia ended up capitalizing off the mistake, as senior guard Jermaine Haley scored the first points of the game on a lay-in a few seconds later.
After the Mountaineers’ first basket of the game, they went the next 2:27 without scoring a point. In that time, Garrett and freshman guard Christian Braun scored a pair of layups to get the Jayhawks on the board.
A couple minutes later, West Virginia’s offense emerged, as the sophomore forward Emmitt Mathews Jr. converted a layup that sparked a quick 7-0 run for the Mountaineers. In that stretch, freshman forward Oscar Tshiebwe scored four straight points.
Kansas ended West Virginia’s run with a quick layup from sophomore Devon Dotson. Following that, sophomore guard Ochai Agabaji stole a bad pass from redshirt senior forward Logan Routt and finished the transition layup on the other end to make the score 15-14 in favor of the Mountaineers.
Through much of the first half, Kansas was forced to play through a bit of foul trouble as senior center Udoka Azubuike picked up two early fouls. His backup, sophomore forward David McCormack, also picked up three first half fouls. The Mountaineers recognized this used their physical frontcourt to power through the shorthanded Jayhawks.
Tshibwe dominated the first half, as he used his strength to bully his way to the rim for easy shots. At halftime, he led all players in both points (12) and rebounds (5) as the Mountaineers found themselves up 30-24.
Kansas men's basketball started conference play on a 60-53 victory against West Virginia Saturday evening in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks next take on Iowa State in Ames, Iowa on Jan. 8.
Kansas scored on its first three possessions of the second half to deadlock the game back at 30-30.
West Virginia answered back with an 11-2 run over the next 4:38, in which sophomore guard Jordan McCabe scored five of his 10 total points.
The Jayhawks would have to play from behind for a vast majority of the second half after this point. At the 9:27 mark, Dotson knocked down his first three of the game.
After a couple sloppy possessions from both teams, Dotson found senior guard Isaiah Moss all alone on the left wing for another three that cut the Mountaineers' lead to three points with 8:23 left in the game.
At the 4:54 mark, Moss made the biggest shot of the game. Azubuike set the Iowa transfer a back screen to free him up in the corner before Garrett hit him for a catch and shoot three to give the Jayhawks a narrow lead.
The jumper shifted the momentum of the games as the Jayhawks took control of the game from that point on.
With 1:18, desperate to trim Kansas' seven point lead, the Mountaineers' freshman guard Miles McBride drive in the lane. Azubuike swatted the shot into the stands to ice the game.
Kansas closed the game on 21-5 run to extended its winning streak to nine straight.
Kansas will return to Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday to take on the Oklahoma Sooners. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m.