For West Virginia, the last two weeks must feel like a roller coaster. Two weeks ago the Mountaineers blew out then #1 Baylor in Morgantown. Later that week they edged out Texas in Austin. On Wednesday of last week in their return to Morgantown the Mountaineers were shocked in overtime by the Oklahoma Sooners, and to make matters worse they dropped a second straight over the weekend in Manhattan to Kansas State. Finally, that brings us to Tuesday night. On Tuesday night the Mountaineers hosted the #2 team in the nation, the Kansas Jayhawks. West Virginia was poised to bounce back from the consecutive losses with a second top 5 win in the Coliseum.
The Mountaineers bounced back alright, winning 85-69 in the team’s fourth straight home win against the Jayhawks. The seniors will end their careers having never lost a home matchup with Bill Selfs Kansas squad. For the second game in a row, the Mountaineers found their stroke from the free throw line, going 19-23, while the Jayhawks just couldn’t get any of their freebies to fall, as they shot 6-15. Bob Huggins Mountaineers shared the rock a great deal Tuesday night, assisting on 22 of their 29 made baskets. It seemed as though nothing could go wrong for the Mountaineers in this one. Shooting nearly 50% from the field and only committing 8 turnovers.
Esa Ahmad finally broke out of his slump, dropping 27 points. Ahmad is a player that many have seen as having the ability to be a star but never putting it together consistently. Elsewhere for the Mountaineers Jevon Carter had an all around good game. He didn’t get into double digits in any stats, but was 1 point and assist as well as 2 rebounds away from a triple-double. Morgantown native Nathan Adrian, as well as guards Daxter Miles Jr. and Tarik Phillip, went scored in double figures in the win. When the Mountaineers can put together a game like they did against Kansas they could very well beat anyone in the country. If this team can keep this intensity and composure, they may be a force to be reckoned with going forward. West Virginia will look to pick up another win this Saturday versus Texas A&M as part of the Big XII-SEC Challenge.