LAWRENCE, Kan. — Dunking, driving and raining jumpers, Ben McLemore poured in a Kansas freshman-record 36 points, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range, to fuel the No. 6 Jayhawks in a 91-65 runaway over West Virginia.

Kansas, which blew open the game with a 16-2 second-half run, made seven consecutive 3-pointers at one stretch and finished 11-of-17 from long range overall. McLemore was the catalyst, making 12-of-15 shots from the floor and eclipsing the 35 points Danny Manning scored as a rookie against Oklahoma State precisely 28 years ago.

“(McLemore) was remarkable tonight,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, who, coincidentally, played for Oklahoma State on March 2, 1985, the day of Manning’s big performance. “We ran some things today to make sure Ben was the first option, and maybe we need to do more of that.”

“(McLemore) is a great player, and one player’s not going to be able to guard him. You’ve got to have help defense and everybody’s got to be talking on the floor. We did not do that today.” — WVU’s Eron Harris

The Jayhawks (25-4, 13-3), who won their sixth straight and completed a sweep of the season series, nearly enjoyed another history-making triple-double from Jeff Withey. The senior center finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks before exiting with around three minutes left in the game.

Terry Henderson scored 20 points, on 6-of-9 3-pointers, and Dominique Rutlledge added a career-high 17 points off the bench for West Virginia (13-16, 6-10), which dropped its fourth consecutive. Eron Harris had 11 points for the Mountaineers, albeit on 4-of-17 shooting.

WVU owned an early 16-9 lead but Kansas countered with a 26-9 run to lead 45-31 at the half. Naadir Tharpe’s 3-pointer with four seconds left gave Kansas its largest first-half cushion.

McLemore scored 19 points in 17 first-half minutes after scoring only 13 the first time these teams met in Morgantown.

“We’ve got to play better team defense (against McLemore),” Harris said. “He’s a great player, and one player’s not going to be able to guard him. You’ve got to have help defense and everybody’s got to be talking on the floor. We did not do that today.”

Kansas, which recorded 27 assists on 32 baskets, shot 55 percent to West Virginia’s 31 percent.

WVU remained stuck in seventh place in the Big 12, while Kansas remained tied atop the league with Kansas State, a 64-61 winner at Baylor later Saturday.

A WITHEY RECOUNT?
Self did some postgame politicking for statisticians to take another look at Withey’s block total, which fell one shy of a triple-double.

“Our stat crew does a great job, but I think that one’s worth revisiting,” Self said. “Jeff was terrific. It sure seemed like he had more than nine (blocks) today. And of course he had the one at the end where a foul was called and it looked like it might have been clean.”

Withey, who produced a 16-point, 12-rebound, 12-block triple-double earlier this season against San Jose State, didn’t sound too disappointed.

“I was one away from 10 and I felt pretty good about that,” Withey said. “Nine (blocks) is a lot and I did a lot of work for that. As long as we get the win, I’m usually happy.”

FOUL TROUBLE
Aaric Murray checked in and promptly blocked two shots but also picked up three first-half fouls in three minutes. He played three minutes in the second half before fouling out with two points.

Matt Humphrey made his second consecutive start and hit a quick 3 -pointer but picked up his second foul only 3:07 into the game. Upon returning, Humphrey was whistled trying to stop McLemore on a fast break, giving him three fouls in five minutes.

Humphrey picked up foul No. 4 only 17 seconds into the second half, whacking Withey after the Kansas center blocked his shot.

KEEPING UP WITH JOHNSON
Elijah Johnson, coming off a 39-point output at Iowa State on Monday night, scored only 12 against WVU. But Self thought his point guard was crucial to KU’s offensive explosion.

“The guy gets 39 one night and the next game he gets 10 assists,” Self said. “Elijah is playing so much better. When he’s locked in and being aggressive, as opposed to thinking about too much and reacting slow, he’s great.”

McLemore certainly noticed Johnson’s passes, which led to 16 of the freshman’s points.

“I just want to thank my teammates, especially Elijah, for creating things for me ad helping me get my shots open,” McLemore said. “Elijah’s a great player because he sees when I get on a roll and he keeps feeding me.”

LOST IN THE PHOG
Kansas sold out all 16,300 seats at Allen Fieldhouse for the 196th consecutive game, dating back to the 2001-02 season. But Harris said the raucous atmosphere was no excuse for WVU being blown out.

“The atmosphere should not affect you at all, because there’s only 10 players on the floor,” he said. “It’s all about execution and not about the crowd at all.”

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Comments

  • cutty77

    I know one Thing WVU has lost to Two Teams that maybe Ranked Number 1 in The NCAA.

  • Wenkev

    I don't understand why there is so much adoration for Belein and his tenure at WVU or adoration for his "great" coaching. In his 5 years at WVU he made 2 NCAA & 2 NIT and had a losing season his first year (wonder if people were whining for the Catlett days that first year). In his last 5 years at Michigan he has made 3 NCAA (never making it past the third round) and had two losing seasons. At the same time, at WVU, Huggins made the NCAA all five years with a sweet sixteen and final four. Just the facts...

  • billo

    get used to being the Big 12 doormat. you do not even have a good enough bb team that could compete in the WVIAC. should make a blooper dvd of this season. it is better to laugh than cry.

  • big tom

    under john beilein, i thought on any given day , we could beat anyone, now, on any given day i think anyone can beat us..

  • Pghmountaineer

    Wenkev, Comparing Huggs to Roy Williams as it pertains to to a tough year is a strech.
    I will take Roy Williams' recruiting classes any day. I don't see Roy behaving on the court as Huggs does. And I rarely hear him publicly ridiculing his players and constantly questioning their IQ. With Roy Williams you have a chance to win a national championship just about every year.

    • Wenkev

      Yeah, because Roy Williams has been at Kansas and UNC for the past 10-15 years. Not exactly the example of a coach struggling to find good talent at a mid major level. He doesn't have to ridicule his players because by the end of the season they know how they are supposed to play unlike the scenario Noreen described WV. Coaching only goes so far. As far as coaches who are animated like Huggins or foul mouthed- Pitino, Self, Larranega, Knight (when he coached), Tom Crean, Coach K (not animated but after I heard him talk once convinced me that he invented the F word)

  • The Wisetalker

    I would say the final four was the peak of our national popularity. And Huggins ruined the show by replacing the seniors on that team with a bunch of players who ultimately contributed absolutely nothing over the next three years. I get a little tired of hearing about the final four, the 700 wins, etc etc…While it was great, it doesn't help you win any more games. People think it does, but it doesn't help one little bit win a basketball game. The final four was the “Sweet By & By”…This is the “Nasty Now & Now” and it stinks to high heaven.

    • big tom

      well said, let's don't live in the past, it's what have you done lately, that counts, and that ain;t much

      • Nate

        What have you done for me lately??? Really big Tom? Nice loyalty there, just shows your true mountaineer pride which is zero! LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!

      • Wenkev

        What a hypocrite you are Big Tom. Quoting your own words you said "let's not live in the past" when people talk about Huggins 700 wins and final four appearances and then evoke the "glorious days" of John Belein in your very next post. I liked Belein but when he was at WVU he had some good, but overachieving players.

        • big tom

          it's called recruiting the right people and coaching

  • JimJim

    If you want change don't donate any money and don't attend the games. Watch the games on TV or internet, if you can stand it!

  • Wenkev

    Geez, I wonder if Roy Williams at North Carolina went through this kind of scrutiny when he went 16-15 in 2009-10 one year after winning the National Championship? I have three words for the lot of you Huggins detractors- Fair Weather Fans.

    • Nate

      Couldn't agree with you more Wenkev, the people who post on here are most usually the biggest whiners I have ever heard. They would rather bash Huggins than blame the players. Huggins has a few wins under his belt, I'd say he knows what he is doing. The problem is heart. The players we have don't have that passion they need. I know Huggins recruited them but he did that based on talent on the court, heart is something they have to develop on their own. KJ had heart, Truck had heart, Huggs will get some heart into WVU, we all just need to let him do it instead of pushing him out the door because of one bad season.

      • Nate

        And who would we bring in??? If I was a potential candidate and I saw the whining that goes on this page over one losing season I would run. Maybe when Huggins recruits some guys with heart they can share some with the lame fans that post on here. LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!

  • Wenkev

    I just hope when WVU is something like 24-7 in the near future with Huggins as coach, and they will be, none of the people who are downing him will have the nerve to come on here and offer praise of him.

    • big tom

      i am sorry , i fell out of my chair laughing.

      • Wenkev

        That's fine, as long as you stay silent when it happens.

        • big tom

          in your dreams...LOL

          • Alum

            What? You staying silent? I agree tommy, you never shut it about anything.

  • Wenkev

    Wow, I can't believe it! A whole 20–30 responses and none of the little "Debbie downers" have blamed the loss on Huggins' yelling at the players, the way he dresses or that he is overweight. I felt kinda sorry for Kansas' players in the first half with coach Self yelling at them and looking kinda overweight. I guess the only thing he has going for him is he wears a suit. That MUST be the reason his team is so good! Oh yeah, and when his team went through the 3 game losing stretch, he blamed it on the players. So I guess the only difference is the SUIT. (Sarcastic)

    • big tom

      the difference, self knows who to recruit and he can coach

      • Oh Did Ya?

        Not to mention Kansas is in the top 3 of biggest cheating programs. UK is 1 and Duke and Carolina are tied for 2. Hard to comepete against payrolls. When Quen Snyder got busted at Mizzou a few yrs ago - his response "I just did what we were doing at Duke. I thought it was legal." NCAA will never come down on those programs.

        • cutty77

          @ Oh Did Ya?
          What do you think about The Girls Game last night drawing more Fans than any of The Mens Game this year?

      • Wenkev

        C'mon man! Is that all you got? I've never coached in my life and I could recruit top players to Kansas! Who couldn't coach top level NBA talent? Huggins had that in Ebanks and Jones, his recruits, and went to the Final Four.

        • Larry

          Oh here comes the "Final Four" rhetoric...I knew the paid Huggins trolls would try to divert attention away from this beat down....

          Sorry... but this epic beat down will be discussed for months...

          Get used to it!

        • Wenkev

          They weren't even top level talent.

  • cutty77

    Lets think about maybe Hiring Jared Calhoun in the Future. Like maybe within 2 years. Very Sharp Young Coach.

    • Oh Did Ya?

      So now Huggs made a good hire and he's had coaches that other teams want? C'mon man.

  • wirerowe

    The golden age of great WVU football teams and WVU basketball teams is over. Like Marshall we out kicked our coverage. The athletic program is either broke or really broke when all the bills come in. There is no Boone Pickens to the rescue. We are in the big time with nobody on our side that is big time. Houston we have a problem.

  • wirerowe

    This golden era of highly successful WVU football and basketball is over. Our athletic program is either broke or really broke when all the bills come in. We have no Boone Pickens. We are in the big time but no body on our side is big time. Houston we have problems.

  • Jack

    Kansas took WVU to school today. They showed how you're suppose to play basketball. They hit shots from long distance, mid-range, and made some jaw dropping dunks. They blocked shots, played tough, aggressive defense without fouling. WVU should keep the two freshmen because they can shoot the ball. The rest have reached their potential.

  • big tom

    let's see, is huggie bear setting any type of a trend.

    record 13-16
    last year,,,19-14
    year before last 21-12

    go figure.