Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Shane Southwell scored 20 points in 24 minutes as K-State routed West Virginia 78-56 on Jan. 18. The teams meet again Saturday in Morgantown.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When Kansas State forward Shane Southwell stepped into the WVU Coliseum for Friday afternoon’s shootaround, he fondly remembered his previous trip there.

On Jan. 12 of last year, Southwell made the tying and go-ahead free throws with 22 seconds left and then blocked Gary Browne’s final shot to preserve K-State’s 65-64 victory.

“It was maybe top-five best moment for me,” said Southwell, who playfully jawed with the WVU students after the horn. “It was a really fun experience, and the fans were really loud. It was just a great game.”

West Virginia and the Wildcats could be destined for another suspenseful matchup Saturday—certainly more suspenseful than their first meeting this season in Manhattan, Kan., when K-State coasted to a 78-56 romp that stands as WVU’s sloppiest game to date (15 turnovers and only five assists).

“We’re definitely looking for revenge,” said Mountaineers point guard Juwan Staten, whose seven turnovers also were a personal-worst. “They just outplayed us and we didn’t like the fact how bad they made us look. We’re looking to come out and even the score.”

While going 4-0 in Big 12 games inside Bramlage Coliseum this season, K-State is 1-3 on the road, although the last two losses—67-64 at Texas and 81-75 at Iowa State—were laudable efforts.

Though Kansas State doesn’t possess exceptional athleticism or shot-blockers, Bruce Weber’s team puts up stingy defensive totals: ranking 15th nationally in points allowed (60.1 per game), 14th in 3-point defense (28.3 percent) and 26th in points per possession.

According to West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, “They do a great job of gang-guarding you,” as his players witnessed first-hand two weeks ago.

“When you got the ball, you were looking at four guys in the paint,” said Terry Henderson, who shot 1-of-8. “We’ve really got to swing the ball and move and cut hard, so we can get them out of place.”

SCOUTING KANSAS STATE
Tipoff: Saturday, 1:30 p.m. in Morgantown (Big 12 Network)
Records: The Wildcats (15-6, 5-3) were projected as a No. 8 seed in Jerry Palm’s most recent bracketology, released Friday. West Virginia (12-9, 4-4) is coming off a 66-64 win at Baylor that, if nothing else, at least resurrected NIT hopes.
RPIs: K-State is No. 38 and WVU is No. 83.
Coach: Bruce Weber (355-169 in 16 seasons overall) may be in the midst of one of his best coaching jobs, replenishing K-State’s roster a season after Rodney McGruder graduated and point guard Angel Rodriguez unexpectedly transferred. Weber is 42-14 in his second season at K-State.
Kansas State’s top players: Swingman Shane Southwell (11.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists) isn’t as physical as Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash (who lit up WVU for 29 points), but he’s similar in other areas. “They’re four-guys who can bounce the ball,” Huggins said. “That’s a hard guard for us; that’s a hard guard for anybody.” … Beefy forward Thomas Gipson (11.8 points, 6.2 rebounds) dropped 20 on WVU and followed up with a season-high 24 at Texas. “He plays with a great base,” Huggins said. “He scored the ball against (Texas center Cameron) Ridley, which is pretty tough, because he found angles and he created space for himself.”…  Freshman shooting guard Marcus Foster, who leads the Wildcats in scoring (13.4), was plagued by fouls in the first meeting against West Virginia yet still produced 15 points in 13 minutes.
WVU roster notes: Juwan Staten is performing like an All-Big 12 player, averaging 17.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and a league-high 6.0 assists. He made the game-winning reverse layup at Baylor after milking most of the final 35 seconds. … Eron Harris ranks second in the league in scoring (17.3) and third in 3-point accuracy (42.5 percent). After the Baylor victory he said: “It’s the first time in a while I’ve been a part of a big win, and we’ve got bigger wins to get.” … Terry Henderson said WVU expects to shoot better than the 32 percent it produced at K-State. “We always shoot better at home,” he said, speaking like a guy who has made only 6-of-27 shots in his last three road games. … Devin Williams hasn’t reached double-digit scoring in five games, making just 10-of-33 shots in the slump. He has averaged less than six rebounds during that stretch and played a mere 14 minutes at Baylor.
Line: West Virginia favored by -3.5.
Prediction: West Virginia 72-70
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Comments

  • Mister Man

    Aight Mountaineers!!!! Great game.

  • DP

    jay ziehm-HOW BOUT THEM Eers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obviously handicapping isn't your strong point (if you have one) so stick with your day job!!!

    • GoEers

      he doesn't have a day job...most trolls live on welfare

  • mad hatter

    i was wrong about dibo , he doesn't play def. and he doesn't want to,,,,, it's time to park his rear on the bench until he gets an attitude adjustment.
    he allows more points than he scores.. he is a liability to this team until he gets his head screwed on right,,,, i can see why huggie drinks so much,,

    • GoEers

      hey great call...you sure do know what you are talking about

  • 4WVUinKY

    Yogi Berra once said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Today's game could be the proverbial fork in the road for our Mountaineers.

    I believe this game is going to set the tone for the balance of the season. A win today can launch us into the remainder of our schedule with increased confidence and thus the opportunity to snag a few games that the nay-sayers have already jotted down as loses. A win today can carry over to the OK game on Wednesday and win that game...statement made...for now. A loss today...we could be 4-7 in conference play before the ink drys on this post.

    I believe we will win today.

    It's an absolutely awesome day to be a Mountaineer...once, always, wherever!

    • stevewvu

      +1

    • ShinnstonGuy

      The positive weather (meaning not below zero) will be a good factor. And any mention of Yogi is sure to be the good luck charm we need!

      • mad hatter

        they are playing this game indoors aren't they?

    • Ducks In A Row

      "I believe we will win today."

      +2

      If you believe, you're halfway there. Let's Go!

      • mad hatter

        but the bell only rings for those who believe

  • tw eagle

    the Mountaineers need four more wins in the regular season to make the NIT . . . it behooves the Mounties to win the games they are favored to win . . .

    my favorite movie laugh line : keep your ear to the grindstone . . . . there's work to be done at the coliseum , check their chits coach Huggins & make sure they all show up for work . . .

  • jay ziehm

    mad hatter evidently you might have been into the recipe this morning. dibo will not be a factor today nor any other day. win the tournament which one are you talking about the one in Charleston. maybe I will be sucking grapes at the end of the season but I don't think so.

    • GoEers

      hey nice call...you should get off of welfare and start reading palms or do those tarot cards

  • Tim C

    The boys will be up for this game.....mark it down!

  • mad hatter

    we'll win going away,,, we are improving every game and williams, adrian , and dibo are getting used to huggins ball, rapidly... i see dibo having a breakout game, and williams getting a double double,,, let's hope noreen sets alot, he is such a negative when he's on the floor,,, love the guy, great work ethic , but how in the world did he rate a div 1 scholarship
    this game will cement us as a power to contend with for the rest of the season, would not be at all surprised to see us win the tourn. and move on to the big dance.

    • pghmountaineer

      Mad,
      Are you halucinating? :)

      • mad hatter

        just trying to drink some of that kool aid

  • jay ziehm

    revenge might in order but when all is said and done Huggins will have his head between his hands wondering where the old WVU style defense went wrong. K-State by at least 11.

  • stevewvu

    I like our chances...Let's go Mountaineers!!!

  • leroy j gibbs

    Wow we are favored! ? Let's go mountaineers!!

  • Dave

    LET'S GOOOOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS !!!!!!!!

  • richard

    think we might have a chance since it's home and we are improving. this isn't last years team for sure.

  • J the C

    Coming off a conference road win, I hope the guys can capitalize. Give 'em hell, Eers!!

  • Master of One

    This game will be interesting....