Game Recap: WVU vs. No. 2 Kansas - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Game Recap: WVU vs. No. 2 Kansas

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Michael Ploger -

MORGANTOWN - The Mountaineers were able to keep it interesting, but after 40 minutes the No. 2 Jayhawks were too much handle, beating WVU 61-56.

West Virginia (9-11, 2-5) has now dropped five of their last six.  They're 0-4 against ranked teams this season.

Despite the loss, the team worked together for one of their best games of the season.  Coming within two late in the game, after trailing by as much as 15, changed the vibe in the WVU Coliseum.

Kansas (19-1, 7-0) became the second ranked team in the country today.  The Jayhawks have now railed off 18 straight victories after losing their second game of the season on November 13.

The game opened up with Kansas scoring 14 unanswered points after a pair of free throws from Deniz Kilicli.  Kansas controlled the majority of the first half with good ball movement and finding their seven-footer, Jeff Withey.

It wasn't until the second half when the Mountaineers gave the nation a game to watch.   A 10-2 run ignited the crowd which striped the Coliseum in blue and gold.

Aaric Murray had one of his better games this season, especially from the three-point line.  A pair of three's from the 6-10 forward helped lead the charge in the second half that brought the game within two points.

Murray finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, both team-highs.  He made three field-goals from behind the arc, which is a season-high.

After being within reach of taking the lead, Kansas took over.  The Jayhawks found ways to stop WVU, and score points on the other with several free throws.

The two teams combined for 45 team fouls, and at times the West Virginia fans were simply fed up with the referees.  At the end of the day, it was the Mountaineer fans who left disappointed.

Kansas had three players score in double figures, but the most production came from Travis Releford and Jeff Withey.  Releford would finish with 15 points, while Withey had 15 points of his own.

For the Mountaineers, other than Murray it was Juwan Staten and Jabarie Hinds, who came in off the bench for the first time in his WVU career.  Staten would hit several clutch jumpers and come out with 14 points on the night.  Meanwhile Hinds came out with eight points off the bench.

West Virginia was able to force Kansas into making mistakes by playing tight defense.  Although they didn't outnumber the Jayhawks in rebounds, the Mountaineers had nine takeaways.

Up next will be Texas Tech on Saturday February 2, at 1:30.  It will be the first of two matchup's with the Red Raiders.

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