Kansas State’s Shane Southwell hit the go-ahead free throws with 21.4 seconds left and blocked Gary Browne’s driving jumper at the buzzer, preserving the No. 18 Wildcats’ 65-64 win Saturday.

Rodney McGruder and Southwell topped K-State (13-2, 2-0 Big 12) with 17 points each, while Jabarie Hinds scored a career-high 15 to lead the Mountaineers (8-7, 1-2), who lost their second consecutive game at home despite shooting 51 percent.

Box score: Kansas State 65, West Virginia 64

Trailing 36-33, West Virginia opened the second half with an 8-0 run before K-State countered with a 12-0 spurt (of which McGruder scored seven) to lead 48-41 with 14:29 to play.

Those were the final points for the All-Big 12 player McGruder, who missed his last six shots to finish 7-of-16. But after WVU rallied to tie the game at 50, Southwell — who came in averaging 6.3 points per game — scored seven points in the final 10:11.

“I thought in the second half Rodney got tried and missed a couple shots,” said Wildcats coach Bruce Weber. “You have to other people make plays.”

No play was larger than Southwell getting tripped by Dominique Rutledge 20 feet from the hoop with 21.4 seconds left and WVU leading 64-63. As the 69-percent foul shooter went to the line, McGruder said he steered clear of Southwell “hoping to avoid putting any more pressure” on the junior guard.

“It didn’t matter,” Southwell said, “because Rodney couldn’t have put anymore pressure on me than those West Virginia fans were. It was loud as hell.”

After Southwell made both free throws — the type of end-game scenario he said he “had dreamed about as a kid” — Hinds put up a contested 12-footer that caromed out of bounds off K-State with 9.1 seconds left. After dual timeouts by Bob Huggins and Weber, the Mountaineers hoped to find Hinds at the top of the key off a double screen, but K-State’s Angel Rodriguez deflected the inbounds pass, which rolled into the backcourt. Browne tracked it down some 60 feet from the basket and raced downcourt in desperation.

“After the deflection, it was like a jailbreak,” said Southwell, who waited in the lane for Browne and swatted away a hurried 8-foot runner as time expired.

Then Southwell flexed and screamed in front of the WVU student section, something the forward said “he had to get out” after hearing from a couple fans the whole game.

Huggins described WVU’s last-chance play as one Da’Sean Butler converted into five game-winning shots. “I just know we didn’t get it,” the coach said.

Aaric Murray had 11 points and five rebounds for the Mountaineers, while Terry Henderson recovered from an atrocious game at Texas to score 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

K-State’s Jordan Henriquez fouled out but not before coming off the bench to contribute nine points and seven rebounds, helping the Wildcats to a 28-27 edge on the boards.

STATEN SITS
West Virginia point guard and second-leading scorer Juwan Staten sat on the bench throughout Saturday’s game, never removing his warmups. Apparently whatever led to his second-half benching at Texas in Wednesday’s 57-53 win hasn’t been resolved.

Said Huggins: “He has to get on the same page as me or he is not going to play anymore.”

“DUMB” FOUL
Huggins wanted his defense to settle into a 1-3-1 and wasn’t sure what transpired on Rutledge’s late-game foul that sent Southwell to the line for the decisive free throws.

“It’s a matter of how the ball bounces, you know,” Rutledge said. “I feel like I hedged good enough, but I had to recover and get back to my man before he slipped (to the basket).”

WVU’s Eron Harris, who was just a step away when the foul occurred, suggested Southwell tripped on his own — an assertion that left the K-State forward laughing.

“I definitely got fouled,” he said. “I’d be the first to admit if the call was shaky, but I clearly got tripped.”

Harris’ off-balance, double-clutch baseline jumper had staked the Mountaineers to a 64-63 lead with 25 seconds left, only to be wiped away by Rutledge’s foul.

“It was a lucky shot, and I was like ‘Thank you, God,’” Harris said. “But then we go back and make a dumb foul and they go back up by one, so it didn’t even matter.

“It gives us confidence we can beat ranked teams, but we just need to be consistent like those ranked teams are. All it came down to was a stupid foul at the end.”

FREE THROWS COSTLY
West Virginia entered the game shooting 71 percent from the foul line but made only 12-of-22. Hinds was only 1-of-6, an ironic stat on an afternoon in which he made 6-of-10 from the floor.

“We shoot 100 (in practice) and make 100 every day,” said forward Kevin Noreen. “I don’t know why — maybe we had a lack of focus today.”

 

 

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Comments

  • tony

    one upside to this is the apparent "hardening" of kevin noreen. by the time he is a senior, he'll likely be a mean man... keep heads up.....keep playing hard....we'll be ok

  • JimJim

    They are a good TV team... A team that I will watch on TV, but not waste money on the see live!

  • Pghmountaineer

    Gary K. I understand where you're coming from but to blame the loss on the refs is really reaching. We're not that good and to be honest I think Huggs has lost this team. They look like a bunch of school yard kids running around doing their own thing. They don't play together at all. Loook at Deniz K., I've never seen him play worse than he has this year and that's pretty bad because he never was a dominating player since he's been here.

  • Gary R. Keiffer

    6 bad calls against WV. I only saw one against K-State and their is your loss. I mean the refs. cant catch everything and their is usually a couple of bad call against both teams in most games. The refs really stuck it to WVU. I hope the refs. get better sure be hard to be any worse,

  • Gerald

    What is the true story on Staten?

    • Bill

      He gave Huggs the finger during half time of the Texas game, I think he should be kicked off the team!

  • Pghmountaineer

    These guys are Huggs' recruits. It's hard to believe that some are considered D1 players.
    They wouldn't start or even be on the roster for most BCS schools.

  • Jethro

    They are improving. I still have faith in Huggs! Go eers!

  • Big Tom

    this season is turning out to be worse than i thought it would be,,, i figure we lose all the rest of our away games, and at least two more home games,, you do the math,, worst team in years,, beilein's guys are gone, it's now on huggie to produce , wow what a big salary and all that money wasted on the practice facility,,
    i would love to see us hire Butler's HC for our BB team and put huggie on emeretus status, now...
    these guys game after game don't know what to do,,, that's called , lack of coaching,,

  • Dutchman

    Gosh, great game 'eers! You would have won if not for the refs. What terrible calls! Five obvious "mistakes" by the refs that either took points away from WVU or gave them to KSU. In every case the commentators said the ref "blew that one." Amazing. I really felt bad for the players. They deserved to win but that one ref obviously placed a large bet on K-State through a friend in Vegas.

  • Tim C

    Inability to hit FT's and 4 blown calls by the refs cost us this one. I wonder why the refs can pick and choose which calls they want to review and which ones they don't. The goaltend call alone cost us the game.

    • Chalkdust

      Let's face facts people...this team can't shoot a lick and while the effort, sense of purpose and team electricity is a little chaotic, I believe they're getting better. I think I'll hold my judgement until 13 Feb.

  • mark

    Huggs is being childish about Staten. The kid has been the most unselfish player we've had and we definitely could have used his fresh legs today-especially in the second half. Really bad judgment by Rutledge to foul. Usually the trailing team will find a way to screw it up themselves in that situation and we bailed them out.

    • Big Tom

      it was very plain that staten would be a project, it was a trouble maker at dayton , he and his dad,, he's a chemistry destroyer,,, i agree with huggie, set him, and don't play him until he gets on the same page with huggie,,, one guy does not make or brake a team.. good by staten, you are wasting a scholarship

  • unclec

    To me they have improved andlooking better. Coach huggs keep up the good work. Go eers

    • Dutchman

      They really looked good! Crashing the boards and playing with intensity. You can't ask for more than 70% shooting from the field! Good job Hugs, but you should have had the Mountaineer load his musket and point it at that terrible ref!

    • Bernie

      Agree

  • Roy

    Let's hope we get good enough to get an NIT bid. We sure will not make the NCAA this year. Get use to it Err fans. Foul shooting killed us today!!