Oscar Tshiebwe’s first-half double-double was not quite enough for West Virginia as the Mountaineers dropped their first Big 12 game of the season to Kansas, 60-53.
The first half was decided inside, with Oscar Tshiebwe taking the lead for West Virginia. The freshman comfortably earned a double-double before heading to the locker room for halftime. He would finish with 17 points and 17 rebounds.
West Virginia aimed to keep KU’s Udoka Azubuike from taking shots for the Jayhawks, and it paid off in the first half. The big man took only one field goal, a dunk which he made.
Kansas’s first half offense came primarily from guard Devon Dotson, who led the Jayhawks in the half with 12 points. He finished with 16.
The lack of a supporting cast for Dotson allowed West Virginia’s offense to take the lead, with six different Mountaineers chipping into the scoring effort. The Mountaineers headed to the break with a 30-24 lead.
Foul trouble became an issue for both squads in the second half, especially for West Virginia’s big men. Gabe Osabuohien finished with 4 fouls, while Tshiebwe, Derek Culver and Miles McBride all picked up three; forcing Bob Huggins to keep a steady rotation in the frontcourt.
Bill Self had the same issue down the stretch, with Marcus Garrett earning 4 fouls early in the half and Dotson finishing with 4 as well.
Kansas would get the lead with 13:24 left in the game, giving them the push they needed to take control. The Jayhawks stayed in front, with their lead reaching as high as 9 points.
Derek Culver made some big plays for West Virginia, but overall he had a quiet game offensively with 5 points on just 16.6 percent shooting. He would grab 12 rebounds, the second-most among all players.
Miles McBride provided a second-half spark for West Virginia, getting 10 of his 13 points in the latter period.
West Virginia falls to 0-1 in the Big 12 and 11-2 overall for the season. The Jayhawks are also 11-2 overall, but are 1-0 in conference play.
The Mountaineers next head to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State, who also opened their conference slate today with an 85-50 loss to Texas Tech.