Men's Basketball: WVU vs. Kansas State Game Recap - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Men's Basketball: WVU vs. Kansas State Game Recap

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Nick Arthur -

Kevin Jones had a career-high 30 points and Truck Bryant added 24, as West Virginia handed Kansas State its first loss of the season with an 85-80 double overtime victory on Thursday night.

Jones made the eventual game-winning layup with 26 seconds left in double overtime to break an 80-80 tie.

The teams were evenly matched all night, before the Mountaineers were able to improve to 5-2 on the season in front of 15,004 fans.

"We knew we were playing a really well-coached team," the senior forward Jones said. "We knew we had to match their intensity and match their toughness. I'm just glad of how our young guys responded to the challenge."

It was West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins' first game against his former team since being hired at West Virginia in 2007.

Early ball pressure bothered the young West Virginia guards and Kansas State was able to jump out to an early 9-2 lead.

"They're good, they play really hard," Huggins said. "We don't play against people that generally play as hard as what they did."

Sharp shooting from seniors Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant sparked a 15-8 run by the Mountaineers, and the game was tied 17-17 with 10 minutes left in the first half.

Jones has an impressive first half for the Mountaineers. His 13 points and five rebounds helped the visitors hang strong in front of a hostile crowd.

 Both teams shot less than 40 percent from the field in the first half, and the Wildcats held a 31-30 advantage at the half.

Bryant and Jones combined for 24 of West Virginia's 30 first-half points.

Junior forward Deniz Kilicli kept the Mountaineers in the game to begin the second half. He hit multiple hook shots with his left hand, and West Virginia trailed 48-46 midway through the second half.

But, Kilicli picked up his fourth foul at the 12 minute mark and was forced to take a seat.

It wasn't just Kilicli in foul trouble, physical play by both teams led to 57 combined fouls called in the game.

Freshman forward Keaton Miles fouled out with less than five minutes remaining in a tie game, 54-54.

Jones made another layup with two minutes left to give West Virginia a 61-60 advantage.

After West Virginia fell behind by three with 20 seconds remaining, Jones hit a three to force overtime.

Freshman guard Aaron Brown hit a three-point shot to give West Virginia a 73-70 lead with less than a minute remaining in the first overtime.

"Aaron Brown made some big shots for us, made some big free throws for us," Huggins said. "He's getting better."

But, Kansas State fought its way back in it and was able to tie the game and force a second overtime.

The Mountaineers and Wildcats traded buckets in double overtime. The game was tied 82-82 with 30 seconds left when Jones made a layup to give the Mountaineers an 82-80 lead.

West Virginia forced a missed shot by Kansas State and made its free throws to hold on for the win.

Freshmen guards Gary Browne and Jabarie Hinds struggled to handle the Kansas State pressure. The two combined for 10 turnovers.

"Our guards are young, and neither one of them have really been point guards before," Huggins said. "They just took us out of everything we wanted to do."

The Mountaineers had a another rough night from the free-throw line, while going 18-31

Huggins doesn't want to overlook what was accomplished on Thursday, but feels Saturday's matchup against Miami is just as important.

 "This don't mean anything if we go lose Saturday," Huggins said. "The battle is keeping them playing."

 

 

 

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