Final: K-State buries West Virginia

Kansas State Wildcats fans get rowdy at Bramlage Coliseum, where the Wildcats romped to a 75-56 win over West Virginia.


MANHATTAN, Kan. — The deep-purple Octagon of Doom turned eight kinds of crazy when Bob Huggins returned with his West Virginia team Saturday afternoon. Check out the thread of in-game updates as the Mountaineers lost their third straight:

Thanks to 54-percent shooting and 20 points each from Southwell and Gipson, K-State buried WVU. Marcus Foster also scored 15 points in only 13 minutes for the Wildcats (14-4, 4-1), who have won all three meetings since West Virginia became a Big 12 member. The Mountaineers (10-8, 2-3), who shot a season-low 32 percent, got 21 points from Harris, along with 16 points and 11 rebounds from Staten. Troubling facet for the WVU point guard—he had seven turnovers against three assists.
KANSAS STATE 65, WEST VIRGINIA 42 (5:44 second half)
Remember when Huggins said his team “wouldn’t lay it down” like last year’s team? Well, today has the markings of a relapse. Kansas State suddenly looks like an offensive juggernaut and five of the nine West Virginia players to see action haven’t scored through the first 34 minutes.
KANSAS STATE 57, WEST VIRGINIA 34 (11:55 second half)
A 10-run put K-State up 55-30, relegating this one to laugher status. Now, what can West Virginia do to contain the embarrassment? Southwell has 20 points and Marcus Foster has scored 11 after playing only four minutes in the first half. … Updated data: Terry Henderson is 0-of-5 in 19 minutes, Juwan Staten has a season-high six turnovers and K-State leads 17-5 in assists.
KANSAS STATE 49, WEST VIRGINIA 30 (15:21 second half)
“We don’t guard,” said Bob Huggins after Monday’s loss to Texas. And his team is proving him right throughout 25 minutes today. Kansas State is making 62 percent of its shots overall. Gipson has 12 points, frequently catching the ball within arm’s reach of the basket, and the Wildcats are 8-of-14 from deep.
Welp, West Virginia didn’t accomplish much during the first 20 minutes, allowing the Big 12’s worst-shooting team to make 58 percent. That includes a series of open looks from 3-point range, where the Wildcats sank 5-of-10—quite a bit better than their 31-percent season average. … Combine poor defense with the Mountaineers’ worst offensive half of the season (30-percent shooting, eight turnovers) and the score differential makes perfect sense.
Twice WVU engages the halfcourt trap and twice K-State shreds it—getting a wide-open corner 3-pointer from Southwell, followed by a Southwell-to-Iwundu alley-oop. Southwell—the star of K-State’s narrow win at WVU last year—has been stellar, producing 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting with three rebounds and two assists.
KANSAS STATE 28, WEST VIRGINIA 15 (4:29 first half)
The Wildcats aren’t missing their foul-plagued leading scorer one iota. In the span of two possessions, K-State’s Will Spradling outwrestled Devin Williams for a rebound and K-State showed offensive patience to work an open 3-pointer by Wesley Iwundu. After Harris forced a 3-pointer that Shane Southwell deflected, Southwell leaked out for a layup. This game is looking a lot like WVU’s last trip to Manhattan.
KANSAS STATE 20, WEST VIRGINIA 13 (7:51 first half)
The Wildcats’ motion offense is generating open looks—or is it WVU’s stagnant defense? Through 12 minutes, K-State is 8-of-12 shooting, and West Virginia hasn’t answered, starting 4-of-13 and going more than five minutes without a basket. Thomas Gipson has eight points on 4-of-4 shooting, most of those right at the rim.
KANSAS STATE 15, WEST VIRGINIA 11 (11:55 first half)
K-State’s top scorer Marcus Foster gets handsy on the wing and picks up his second foul with 13:16 left in the half. One possession later, D.J. Johnson gets his second foul, thanks to Devin Williams pump-faking from 18 feet and then driving the lane. … K-State is 6-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
 WEST VIRGINIA 8, KANSAS STATE 5 (15:56 first half)
Eron Harris apparently left his slump in Morgantown, where he had gone 1-for-13 from 3-point range in his last two games. Well, he has more 3-pointers in the first three minutes today than he had in the losses to Oklahoma State and Texas. He drained one from the top of the key off a pass from Terry Henderson, followed by one from the right wing off a drive-and-pitch by Juwan Staten.
K-State tumbled out of The AP Top 25 on Monday after losing at Kansas. But the Wildcats promptly knocked off Oklahoma and could spring right back into the rankings with a follow-up win over West Virginia today. Bruce Weber’s team has come miles since dropping its season opener to Northeern Colorado.
Today’s game is part of Legends Weekend at K-State, with 42 lettermen returning to campus for various events, including a halftime shoutout. For college basketball historians with a memory that stretches back a half-century, K-State will honor its 1964 Final Four team.

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