MANHATTAN, Kan. — The “we’re close” theme identified with West Virginia basketball for most of this season disappeared for the second straight game Saturday.

The Mountaineers were never close once Kansas State pulled out to a double-digit lead late in the first half, and Bob Huggins’ team never threatened a comeback after the Wildcats opened the second half on a 15-4 run.

In a 78-56 romp, these stats did not lie: K-State made a season-high 54 percent of its shots and West Virginia sank a season-worst 32 percent.

BOXSCORE: K-State 78, West Virginia 56

Shane Southwell buried four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points, one off his career high, while Thomas Gipson also scored 20, matching his career best with a terrific 9-of-11 shooting night in the low post.

“(Gipson) had his way,” Huggins said. “We had a couple freshmen on him and he just big-boyed them.”

In suffering its third consecutive loss, West Virginia (10-8, 2-3) absorbed the kind of beating that became too familiar last season. Despite an ability to spread the floor with 3-point shooters and average 80 points, WVU came unraveled and found itself down by 55-30 to the Wildcats. It was the second consecutive game in which the Mountaineers trailed by 20-plus points in the second half.

Eron Harris snapped out of his individual slump by scoring 21 points, including two 3-pointers that staked WVU to its last lead of the game at 8-5. But Terry Henderson didn’t score until 2:52 remained in the game, finishing with two points on 1-of-8 shooting.

Even Juwan Staten’s 16-point, 11-rebound performance was marred by a season-high seven turnovers against only three assists.

“They predicate themselves on playing good defense and they make you uncomfortable,” said Staten, who finished upside down on the assist-to-turnover ratio for only the second time this season.

The disparity in offensive execution was startling, considering West Virginia came in with the reputation for brandishing more firepower.

“We don’t pass the ball,” Huggins said. “When the game got turned (late in the first half), we came down, made a pass or two and shot it.

“They came down and they got shots inside the last 10 seconds (of the shot clock). Offensively, they make you work. They pass it and cut, pass it and cut, and they end up with somebody with a pretty good shot at the end.”

K-State’s Marcus Foster, limited to 13 minutes by foul trouble, still managed 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Fellow freshman Jevon Thomas was one of the only Wildcats to struggle with shooting (1-of-6) but more than made up for that with eight assists in a turnover-free 32 minutes.

Along with Southwell’s 6-of-10 shooting, the 6-foot-7 forward made all four free throws, grabbed five rebounds and handed out four assists—one on an alley-oop to Wesley Iwundu that sparked K-State’s end-of-the-half run.

“I loved it,” Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. “It was an all-around game. He had 20 points on 10 shots and he made all his free throws. That is the best we have shot the ball against a good opponent.”

Southwell, who wore a radiant grin throughout much of the afternoon, relished the blowout: “We had 22 assists on 28 field goals, which is great for us.”

Not that K-State has exactly enjoyed these kinds of offensive showcases. Weber’s club—continuing to over-deliver on this season’s rebuilding projections—has ground out wins despite ranking last in the Big 12 in field-goal percentage.

So Saturday afternoon’s barrage of open looks and easy dump-downs was refreshing. The kind of refreshment West Virginia’s defensive shortcomings have frequently afforded opponents.

Said Harris: “It seems like it always happens to us.”

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  • Help

    It is a bad day to be a Mountaineer!!!
    I think the wheels went out underneath the basketball team. It will be the same as the football team . We will be the low man in the Big 12 again.
    We need HELP!!

    • William

      If you hire coach's with GREAT CHARACTER & CLASS, then you will get good players to come play for you.
      What do u think "Sweatsuit" Huggins problem is?

  • Billy

    I wonder how long it will be before the Board of Govenors or whoever it is that has the final word on the Three Stooges get fed up. Just how bad does it need to get? If it is not close, then when. This experiment has been a complete and utter failure. And I am not a so called fair weather fan, I am a born and raised West Virginian, and care deeply. It is mind boggling to me that these well educated people would let this mistake continue. Sometimes it is just best to cut your losses and take another direction.

    • Shadow

      The BOG should be working to make WVU a better choice for good athletes. However, that is difficult with the location is Morgantown. If the desire is to be higher in the Conference Rankings, get in a different Conference. It is silly to blame the Coaches for their inability to get good athletes to come to WVU as there are so many better choices for them.

    • mad hatter

      totally agree,,, we are kinda in a spot , we'
      re in between Presidents, so i don't think anyone is awake at the wheel.
      My guess is two more yrs, of luck , holg. huggins, and something will be done,,

      Luck seems perfectly happy with both those two,,,shame on him

  • Fairport

    We now have adopted a fighting phrase for our home team, WVU, for both football and basketball. I hope to see this on all of our sports gear....."WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR" embarrassing today was for our University!

  • chasmo

    hey if you people can't say anything " nice & supportive" - get off this site. We will come back and be very respectful this season & LOOKOUT NEXT YEAR !!!

    • The Wisetalker

      Thank you Mrs. Huggins...

    • Fairport

      This is a news article not a cheerleading blog! We will all say nice things NEXT YEAR!

      • Mike

        Exactly. This is not a message board, it is comments to a sports news story. Any comment is welcome.

  • BigMo

    Becoming the laughing stock of the Big 12. Thanks to you Oliver in the conference without a foundation for success. I think it's great that you didn't get the Texas AD job and your stuck in Morgantown. Come out from under the bed and lead the program, or get the hell out.

    • Rock Solid

      Hey Big Mo: Don't belittle Morgantown. Morgantown, Martinsburg, and maybe Princeton/Beckley are the only thriving areas in WVa. All the rest is not just failing, but is in a down right free fall. All the people with potential have or are leaving. There will be nobody left except the ill or infirmed and of course the drug dealers and users. Great way to ruin a state. Way to go legislature, and all the idiots we have elected over the years. No major industry equals declining standard of living, and ours is now last in the country. Look around people and see how sad the situation is. How would you like to have the campus in Clarksburg or Wheeling and have to get kids excited to come play?

    • Mike

      We don't hear much from Ollie anymore. He's never recovered from being turned down by Texas, and HIS football program is a disaster. With basketball not far behind. And that is on Huggins.

  • Justin

    OKANYDAY you said it just the way it is. looks like Texas was alot smarter then the ones at WVU who hired oliver.

  • ron "from morgantown"

    We don't value possessions on offense , we play them more like an AAU team . Just run and gun( and play just enough D to make it look good) . But we are still young and a lot of these guys learned the game on the AAU circuit . So it will take time for them to understand . Look at the progress Staten has made in just one year . Admittedly I do wonder how good this team would be with guys like Pepper, Hinds and Murray . I'd rather lose with players who want to wear the WV uniform proudly and play with a purpose . I really think next year could be a very good team for Huggs .

    • BigMo

      The Athletic Department needs someone who knows how to get done in Morgantown. Bring back Whit and send Luck a Texas. Best trade possible any way you turn it. To bad you can't bring back Johnny B.

    • mad hatter

      his beard got longer but his BB Iq suffered.

    • The Wisetalker

      How much progress did Dennis Kilicli make in 4 years?

      • ron "from morgantown"

        His english improved immensely.

        • The Wisetalker



    Does Huggins sleep in his sweatsuits between practice and games ?

  • Master of One

    Everyone is invited to come to Morgantown and watch

    Oliver Luck’s “OLLIES FOLLIES” and his



    The dynamic Duo….Bob “Sweatsuit” Huggins and…Dana “The man in Black” Holgorsen

    You and your family will get to see…

    Your favorite Mountaineer teams lose…week after week after week…guaranteed!

    Hear Bob Huggins in his smock pullover sweatshirt cuss like a drunken sailor and watch him continually throw temper tantrums.

    See the dysfunctional basketball Coaching Staff that looks like the “Land of Misfit Coaches”.

    Watch a crazed $500,000 a year Joe deforest parade the sidelines with his hat turned around backwards.

    Watch Dana Holgorsen over & over again throw a $1200.00 headset to the ground and destroy it.

    Watch AD Oliver Luck occasionally sneak into games and then spend most of his time keeping tabs on Junior.

    Watch WVU radio announcers Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs announcing ball games that no one in West Virginia can find on the radio…or the internet.

    Watch the basketball team run up and down the court and then try to find “West Virginia” on the front of their jerseys which is printed in “White” which is the exact same color as their “White” jerseys.

    Watch Eron Harris run up and down the court in his bright fluorescent Green socks.

    Watch as the Mountaineer basketball players focus upon “development” rather than “wins & losses”

    All of this and much more for only $25.00 plus $20.00 parking and only $ 9.00 for each beer.

    • wvrefugee

      Spot on my friend!

    • leroy j gibbs

      William right?

      • Master of One

        William isn't that smart...

        • Greg

          Apparently neither are you if you expect anyone to buy this vitriol you're spewing and its not William. But we all know you're just sad sack William.

    • ron "from morgantown"

      I'm guessing your from Pittsburgh , or New Jersey .

      • stevewvu

        Hi is big Larry aka Lawrence Tomas. he is the biggest tool decushe bag known to mak

      • Greg

        No, this is just "William" posting. As much time as you spend on this site can't you tell by now one of his idiotic posts under one of his many screen names? It's the same old drivel he's trying to pass off by tricking you into thinking its someone else.

  • Pickle Barrel

    Worst shape program has been in since Catlett's last couple of seasons.

  • Joe

    You fair weather fans have no faith.

  • leroy j gibbs

    Blame huggy, blame the boys whatever. This is our team and we must support them. Not going to the games is not right.

  • El Supremo

    I repeat myself from last year. This is NOT a good team and Huggins has only won with Beilein's recruits. The game has changed since Huggins days in Cincy and he has not adapted his recruiting or game plan to win with the new rules.

    File these words away for mid-January 2015 and re-read. At that time, you'll wonder what I saw two years ahead of anyone else.

  • mad hatter

    folks, we still have two games left with okla, kansas and baylor,,, that's 6 losses for sure.
    then we play ok state at their place , texas at their place and we have two more with iowa state,, that's at least 10 losses we can put in the books right now..and we win one game left between tcu and tt...
    so we're ten and eight now.
    i figure we win one more game,,, but we play hard and don't quit, and we're this close to being good..

    folks , don't you know huggie has an attendance clause in his contract,,if people dont show up, he doesn't get the bonus,,,how sad, a man lying to the fans so he can get his bonus

  • Woodchuck

    Girls won.

    • wvrefugee

      Even at it's's still girl's basketball! :o)