GAME PREVIEW: WVU at Kansas State - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

GAME PREVIEW: WVU at Kansas State

Morgan Farr, MORGANTOWN -

The Wildcats and the Mountaineers will meet for the fifth time on Saturday including the fourth time in the last four seasons.


You might recall that Bob Huggins laid the foundation for the Wildcat's success coaching them in 2006-2007 to a 23-win season.


Kansas State (13-4, 3-1 in conference play) just came off a win over Oklahoma on Tuesday night 72-66. The Wildcat's have impressive wins over TCU and Oklahoma State and their only conference loss was a 23-point blowout to Kansas.


The Wildcats had five players score in double digits en route to defeating No. 25 Oklahoma. Marcus Foster scored 18 points and Shane Southwell added 16 to rally the Wildcats back from a 62-56 deficit, with just over 5 minutes left to play. Nino Williams clinched the victory in the closing seconds, sinking four very important free throws.


Ryan Spangler had a career high 21 points and 14 rebounds and Buddy Heild scored 12 points for Oklahoma (13-4, 2-2 in conference play) but it wasn't enough to offset a lousy night by Cameron Clark, the Big 12's leading scorer.


The Mountaineers (10-7, 2-2 in conference play) lost to Texas Monday night (80-69) and were only 4 of 25 from behind the arc, missing 15 straight at one point. This was the Mountaineers worst performance of the season, and their first double-digit loss following a heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma State two days prior.


Juwan Staten has scored at least 20 points in each of his last three games, is averaging better then 20 points per game in Big 12 play so far this year and he ranks near the top of every statistical category, including assists per game. (6.1)


Staten has certainly caught the attention of teams and coaches around the league, especially Kansas State. In the loss to Texas, State had 23 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.


"Staten can get by anybody," said Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber. "His numbers against Oklahoma State were phenomenal and those are some of the better guards in the country defending him."


Guard play will be extremely important as both team's offense is mostly outside shooting. "West Virginia has three very good guards," said Brue Weber. "We must get back in transition."


"The team that usually gets the most easy baskets wins," said Bob Huggins.  Hitting open shots against the Wildcats will be critical to the Mountaineers success Saturday and in the Big 12 conference the rest of the season.


The Wildcats host the Mountaineers at the Bramlage Coliseum Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on the Big 12 Network.

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