The Jayhawks outscored West Virginia 34-16 in the final eight minutes of game time to knock off West Virginia, 84-80.
For large portions of this game, Kansas was just terrible. They didn’t score for the first four minutes. They shot terribly from the floor, even worse from the rim, below their season average from deep, and were outrebounded. Yet here we are.
West Virginia had a 10-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. They built early leads of 16-5 and 21-10. But then, from the 9:48 mark until the 5:37 mark of the first half, Kansas ripped off a 16-0 run to take a 26-21 lead. West Virginia quickly tied it at 26-all, and eventually pulled back ahead, taking a 7-point, 39-32 lead into halftime.
Second verse, same as the first. The Mountaineers quickly rebuilt a 10-point advantage at 42-32, and Kansas struggled shooting in the second half, only getting as close as 5 points, 45-40, with 13:38 to go. After a Tarik Phillip layup at the 3:00 mark, West Virginia had a 64-50 lead and a 99.8% win probability.
And that’s when Kansas finally got to the arena, I guess. Still down nine with 2:00 left, Devonte Graham hit KU’s first trey of the second half to make it a six-point game. But with a minute left, Kansas was still down by 7 points, and West Virginia’s win probability was UP to 99.1%. But another Graham 3, a steal, and a Lucas dunk brought the Jayhawks within 3. Two Esa Ahmad free throws with 45 seconds left put West Virginia back up 5. But then ANOTHER Graham 3 followed by a WVU turnover gave Kansas the ball with 26 seconds left and the chance to tie or take the lead.
Mason would get fouled on a drive and hit both free throws. West Virginia used their final timeout to set up a play. The Mountaineers were unable to score, and to overtime we went.
After Landen Lucas missed a bunny and West Virginia missed a three, Devonte Graham opened the overtime scoring with a three-pointer. A minute later, a Josh Jackson steal and layup gave the Jayhawks a five point, 76-71 lead with just 2:55 to play. A dagger three ball by Devonte Graham on the next possession put Kansas up 8, 79-71. West Virginia would close to within four with 37 seconds left, but Kansas would make juuuuuust enough free throws to salt this game away and take the 84-80 victory.
This and That
Kansas didn’t score for the first 3:23 of gametime.
Eight of KU’s first 13 shots were at the rim. They were 0-8 on those shots.
Kansas didn’t take its first lead until 22-21 on a Landen Lucas dunk with 6:51 before halftime.
Kansas ripped off a 16-0 run from the 9:48 mark until the 5:37 mark of the first half.
Lagerald Vick led KU in scoring in the first half with 10 points and a perfect 4-4 from the floor, including 2-2 from deep.
KU hit 8-9 free throws in the first half.
Kansas finished 33-44 (75.0%) from the free throw line.
Frank Mason hit 16-18 at the stripe on his way to 24 points.
Mason struggled from the floor again, hitting just 3-13 shots.
Kansas was 3-11 from 3-point range in the second half, missing their first 8 attempts in the half. The Jayhawks didn’t hit a three until Mason got one with just 2:17 left to play in the game.
Kansas finished 9-26 (34.6%) from behind the arc. According to my math, KU missed 14 threes in a row at one point (I could be wrong).
Kansas was down by 14 with 3:00 to go. They outscored West Virginia 21-7 from there until the end of regulation.
With about 3 minutes left in the game, KU was 10-30 from the field and just 4-18 at the rim.
Kansas saw three players foul out. Svi and Vick in regulation, and Bragg in overtime.
Kansas will head to Waco for a rematch with Baylor on Saturday, February 18, at Noon.
We’ll have more on the West Virginia game in the next day or two, but for now, catch your breath, and the comments section is yours.