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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  • JL

    It's been 40-years since we've had two back-to-back losing seasons in both football and basketball. Welcome to Oliver's future. What a great job he has done with everything.

  • Toadman

    Hey, it's dark and cold down here in the Big 12 cellar. Whats sad, we probably couldn't keep pace with the top 6 teams in the American Conference either. We have digressed to a new level of incompetence in both major D1 sports. Anyone have any extra depression meds?

  • mad hatter

    huggins said in one of his interviews that he didn't think walkins would make it,,,, my goodness man, why did you recruit him and give him a scholarship?
    this is another reason why our bb recruiting sucks,,, i wonder if huggins ever really sees these guys play in high school, or just uses the travel experience to get drunk

  • mad hatter

    if anyone expects this downward spiral to change anytime soon, you're sadly mistaken.
    the players that put us here, are firmly in place for many yrs to come,, Mainly,, Luck , Holgerson, and huggins.
    Three failures and each will not admit it.
    They are all getting rich at the expense of the donors and taxpayers.
    How sad, Huggins is probably the most hated, because he lied the most bragging how he loved wv and wvu and then screwed them with this lifetime contract that his buddy , oliver , gave him
    and holgerson, what do we own him 11 million even if we fire him,, no buyout folks, we just pay his salary till his contract runs out and he's allowed to get another job in trhe meantime,,,, OLIVER IS ONE STUPID PERSON FOR SURE, HE HAS SCREWED WVU FOR MANY YRS TO COME.


    The problem is not where we are located; that is hog wash. WVU has had great teams in the past. The problems are: 1. the leadership in the Athletic Department; 2. the conference we are in(it is just too far spread out to attract great athletes to WVU for all of our programs, and also different time zones); 3. Dana Holgorsen, is absolutely the wrong coach for WVU football.;
    4. Bobby Huggins has changed like a chameleon since he came to WVU; he curses, looks and acts like an idiot on game day, home and away. If a vote was taken as the most disrespected BB coach in the BIG 12, there is no doubt in my mind that Bob Huggins would be number one on the list. 5. Oliver Luck doesn't have the backbone to clean up this mess anytime soon, because he is embarrassed he was past up by Texas, and quite frankly hasn't come out of his hole yet. When you dig a hole you need to quit digging if want to get out. What a darn mess in Morgantown; while everyone else outside of our WVU family are just laughing at our futility, and hoping it continues. To heck with Bob Huggins; at least the President of Cincinnati had the backbone to get rid of the drunk; and look how good Cincy's program is now in the AMERICAN Conference.

  • Low Rider

    We are in the Dark Age of Mountaineer Sports. The football team has won 6 of their last 20 games. The basketball team is on their way to another 13 win season. It is evident WVU underestimated the strength of the Big 12 conference and the quality of its athletes and coaches.

    I believe Holgorson will only get one more year, unless WVU is bowl eligible in 2014. Huggins…that's another story. He will stay as long as he wants. As the 3rd winningest coach in college hoops, he will pick the time to leave. Huggy has a contract that expires in 2013. There is no way the University can afford to buy him out.

    • Alex

      2013 ???! What's with this ... That was last year .... Where are you going ? Backward or forward.

      • Low Rider

        Good pick-up. I meant to say the contract expires in 2023. If Huggins truly loves the university as he proclaims…he will step down before then if he can't get things turned around.

  • RPP

    3 million dollars for a basketball coach and 2.2 million dollars for a football coach! What a waste.

  • RPP

    3 million dollars for a basketball coach and 2.2 million dollars for a football coach. WE EXPECT MORE FOR OUR MONEY.

  • William

    "Sweatsuit" Huggins is a MESS!
    Only way to fix it, is to FIRE HUGGINS

    How to recruit good plays - Hire a coach with GREAT CHATACTER & CLASS, then good players will come to WVU

    And Yes, I'M LOVIN' IT

  • Indian boy

    Just too painful to watch once proud programs circling the drain. Poor recruiting, poor coaching, middle of the pack players. Just tired of seeing our FB and BB coaches getting out coached every single game Here is an idea for WVU fans. Watch the women's basketball team. They are well coached,and play smart and they win. At least we have them. GO WVU WOMEN make us proud.

    • Billy

      I have been watching. They are the flag bear for our state and doing a darn good job.

  • tw eagle

    Best shot of the night for the Mountaineers ? coach Huggins perched on corner of table near end of WVU bench , during game (- 20+ points at time ) - he 's whistling , snapping fingers , gazing into the rafters and WHAT ? counting his money or dreaming of that first beer ?

  • In da stickes

    Those of you who think this is the worst Mountaineer athletics have ever been obviously don't remember the mid to late 1970's. I'm not happy with our showing in BB and FB but it is obvious we were not ready for prime time. I will remain a fan and will continue to support.

  • Master of One

    Who wins and who loses as a result of "Ollies Follies" ?


    Bob Huggins
    Dana Holgorsen
    Oliver Luck


    West Virginia University
    The State of West Virginia
    WVU Students
    WVU Fans
    WVU Players
    WV Radio Corp
    Metro News
    City of Morgantown

    • wvrefugee

      I was with you until the WV Radio Corp comment! FAIL!

  • Help

    Gibbs, send me tickets and gas money and I will be there ever week. I'm a school teacher with no money. The cost is too much for my salary, but I will take gifts of tickets.

  • 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?