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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Quick recap: No. 14 Kansas wallops West Virginia to claim third consecutive win

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) and Kansas forward David McCormack (33) defend against a drive by West Virginia forward Lamont West (15) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji (30) and Kansas forward David McCormack (33) defend against a drive by West Virginia forward Lamont West (15) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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In a conference season full of nail-biters, Saturday’s thrashing was a nice refresher for the Kansas men’s basketball team.

No. 14 Kansas led for all but one minute, and even had a double-digit advantage over the final 30 minutes of the contest, during a 78-53 win over West Virginia Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) avoided the season sweep of the Mountaineers (10-15, 2-10) after dropping a 65-64 decision in Morgantown on Jan. 19.

The Jayhawks have now won three games in a row since dropping a road decision at Kansas State, which fell at home to Iowa State on Saturday to make the Big 12 race more interesting.

Five KU players scored in double figures in the win. Devon Dotson finished with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting, while K.J. Lawson registered 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Dedric Lawson scored 14 points on a 4-for-8 effort from the field. David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji each tallied 10 points.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: Kansas had this thing in the bag pretty early on.

West Virginia actually led by a 7-6 margin with 15:07 left in the first half. The Jayhawks responded by scoring the next 11 points to take a lead that they would not relinquish. Devon Dotson hit a pair of free throws, while Dedric Lawson buried a 3-pointer.

Mitch Lightfoot netted a dunk off an incredible pass by Quentin Grimes. Ochai Agbaji and Devon Dotson each tallied a bucket as well during a decisive stretch to take control of the game.

• Offensive highlight: Late in the first half, the Jayhawks hit three triples within two minutes to put the game out of reach.

Dedric Lawson caught the ball on the left wing, and then pump-faked his defender to go by him. Lawson then kicked it to Dotson, who drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Moments later, Agbaji missed Lightfoot on a back-cut, so he pulled up from the top of the key instead to drain a 3-pointer.

K.J. Lawson then connected on a corner 3-pointer at the 2:11 mark off an assist from Dedric Lawson. KU led by a 38-14 margin after that stretch.

• Defensive highlight: KU’s strong defense was a result of multiple key plays, especially in the first half.

The Mountaineers were flustered on offense, throwing the ball out of bounds on more than one occasion. The Jayhawks even showed some full-court pressure from time to time, giving West Virginia a taste of its own medicine.

In the first half, WVU turned the ball over 12 times on 34 possessions. The Mountaineers hit just 7-of-28 shots through the first 20 minutes as well, finishing with 16 first-half points. David McCormack recorded two strong blocks, but the defensive showing was mostly due to terrific on-ball defense by Kansas.

•Up next: Kansas travels to Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Comments

Brian Wilson 3 months ago

Criticize if you want....but since Az got hurt ..... I got to see the lineup I want:
DMac
Dedric
K.J.
Agbaji
Dotson
The game was over early but this group looks like they could dominate better teams and need three or four games to gel. Grimes and Garrett need another year of seasoning and its time for them to be role players. As such, IMO, we should move to this lineup. I still have hopes for "Q" but, Lightfoot, Grimes, Garrett, and Moore should come off the bench.

Brad Watson 3 months ago

Great game...FANTASTIC UNIFORMS....WOW!!!!....Wear those every game and order a road version.....Love watching McCormack improve....he is really going to be good...great 1st half...sloppy 2nd half......this team likes to compete....they are playing high energy basketball...keep at it...there is still lots of room for improvement.....looking forward to next Saturday...get some rest and get ready to work next week preparing for the most important game of the season!.....Fantastic coaching job.....I like this group.........everyone involved with the program has really stepped up their games.... and it SHOWS.......Coaches.......Managers.....everyone...,,,.and......I..LOVE THOSE UNIFORMS!....Keep wearing them!!!

Dane Pratt 3 months ago

And just like that we are in control of our own destiny.

Barry Weiss 3 months ago

I understand that WV is missing some players, but so are we and our ball movement since Vick has been gone as been nothing short of spectacular. I'm not saying we have anything as far as the conference title yet, but we are now in striking distance. Still a lot of huge games left for all four of the top teams. Damn this is good!

Dave Miller 3 months ago

"Just Once and Just For Tonight:"

ROCK CHALK IOWA STATE !!

Bryce Landon 3 months ago

It's a shame KSU and ISU couldn't have both lost.

Dane Pratt 3 months ago

Wonder how serious the injury to Wade is. Hope he gets back on the court but at the same time it's hard to be sympathetic to K-State given the number of player issues we've had.

Bryce Landon 3 months ago

It never fails, does it? When a Bill Self team chokes away a conference game they should have won, the rematch is a KU blowout win.

2006 - KU blows a 7-point lead against Missouri and loses in OT, then crushes them by 33 in the rematch.

2009 - KU leads almost all the way against Mizzou only to lose in the last minute, then crushes them in the rematch.

2018 - KU loses to Oklahoma in a game they should have won if Self had pulled Udoka Azubuike from the game before he could miss all those FTs, then beat the Sooners by 30 in the rematch.

2019 - KU pisses away a 6-point lead to lose to WVU, and then destroys them by 25.

So memo to other conference teams. If you beat us because we give the game away to you, you better savor it while you can, because we are going to kick your ass when you come to our house for the rematch.

Ben Kane 3 months ago

i bet all of those close games were on the road. i think it shows more the home advantage of college basketball, greatest of any sport.

Bryce Landon 3 months ago

You are absolutely right, Ben. All those choke-jobs came in the other team's gym, and the rematches were in the Phog. It also shows that we have arguably the greatest home advantage of any team in college basketball.

Kit Duncan 3 months ago

It just shows that Kansas players can’t take a night off. Every school they play draws a big red circle around the date of their home game with KU. In the long run that plays into Kansas’s hands. Opposing teams (and fans) perform hardest against KU then often let their guard down against other teams.

Traditionally that is how Bill Self is able to win league championships by going undefeated at home, (except for last year) and having a winning record in away games (like last year). Often times other Big XII schools give away one or two home games they expected to win, and end up with more road losses than wins.

Kit Duncan 3 months ago

I wrote this earlier in the year. Until the other Big XII schools stop beating up on each other and focus on beating Kansas, Bill Self and KU will continue to win the Big XII. (Iowa State didn’t get the memo)

For instance, had Iowa State not beaten K-State yesterday, KU would be down 1 1/2 games with 5 games to play. Not insurmountable, but definitely more difficult for KU to catch them. Now, KU is in control of its destiny once again. Win the next five games and they win at least a share of the conference with KSU. Should KU win out with KSU losing to KU and, if they were to drop one more, KU wins outright.

RCJH!!! Keep winning, Hawks!!!

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