Monday, February 13, 2017

Jayhawks surge late to overtake West Virginia in OT

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) puts up a shot against West Virginia forward Nathan Adrian (11) during the first half, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) puts up a shot against West Virginia forward Nathan Adrian (11) during the first half, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.


The Kansas basketball team hadn’t lost consecutive games inside Allen Fieldhouse since the 1988-89 season entering a top-10, Big Monday clash with West Virginia. By the end of a long night for the Jayhawks’ offense, 14th-year KU head coach Bill Self still had yet to experience back-to-back home losses.

The No. 9 Mountaineers squandered a 14-point lead with less than three minutes to play in regulation, despite holding No. 3 Kansas to 33-percent shooting over the course of the first 40 minutes, and Kansas prevailed, 84-80, in an overtime thriller.

The improbable comeback victory put KU (23-3 overall, 11-2 Big 12) in a three-game lead for first place over WVU (20-6, 8-5) and two games up on Baylor (22-4, 9-4), with five games to play in the regular season.

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

• The game turned when: Kansas somehow forced overtime.

Essentially, this game was over. But once WVU gave KU a glimpse of hope, the Jayhawks took over.

Kansas veterans Frank Mason III (24 points), Devonte’ Graham (18 points) and Landen Lucas (eight points, 13 rebounds) teamed up to contribute KU’s final 20 points of regulation.

And once the Jayhawks found themselves in overtime, and the crowd was losing its collective mind, WVU didn’t stand much of a chance.

Graham opened the extra five-minute period with a 3-pointer, freshman Josh Jackson scored on a hanging layup off the glass, Graham cashed in again from 3-point range and West Virginia crumbled, losing the game and a chance to sweep Kansas in the regular season.

• Offensive highlight: Lagerald Vick — yes, you read that correctly, Lagerald Vick — gave the Jayhawks an offensive boost.

Kansas fell in an early 10-0 hole versus West Virginia and was just 1-for-12 from the floor before Vick reminded his teammates what it looks like when the ball goes through the net.

The sophomore backup guard, who hadn’t scored in double figures since Dec. 30 at TCU (17 points), got one to drop in transition, cutting the Mountaineers’ lead to nine.

The 6-foot-5 wing from Memphis then followed that up with back-to-back 3-pointers — marking his first game with multiple 3s since that same conference-opening win at TCU.

KU then went on a 16-0 run to take a five-point lead, with Jackson and Mason contributing at the free-throw line, Lucas and Svi Mykhailiuk scoring on dunks, Mason hitting a 3-pointer and Vick converting a layup.

Vick was the only Jayhawk to score multiple baskets in the first half. He shot 4-for-4, while the rest of his teammates combined to go 6-for-26 (23.1 percent).

After a horrid start, the Jayhawks got back to their competitive selfs with an assist from Vick’s assertiveness.

• Defensive highlight: Early on in this hotly contested Big 12 showdown, Graham morphed from a small, skilled guard into a fast-break rim protector.

With KU already down 12-5 and about to see that margin grow, the 6-foot-2 junior guard sprinted from behind to catch Jevon Carter and smack his layup off the backboard

Graham, who had blocked just five shots the entire season leading up to the Big Monday showdown — and only 10 in his career — stymied Carter and wowed the KU faithful, who were very much in need of something to cheer about at that juncture. The undersized junior guard provided KU with a rare defensive stop and spark.

• Key stat: Second-chance points. Typically, Bob Huggins’ WVU teams are the ones pounding the boards for extra opportunities on offense. But KU out-Mountaineered the visitors, scoring 14 second-chance points to WVU’s 6, thanks to 12 huge offensive rebounds for the home squad.

• Up next: The Jayhawks will have to take on another one of the Big 12’s foremost challengers to their throne, No. 4 Baylor. KU edged the Bears on Feb. 1, in Allen Fieldhouse, but the rematch comes at Baylor’s Ferrell Center Saturday (noon tip-off, CBS).

By the Numbers: Kansas 84, West Virginia 80

By the Numbers: Kansas 84, West Virginia 80

— See what people were saying about the game during's live coverage.

More news and notes from Kansas vs. West Virginia


Jay Scott 5 years, 3 months ago

How about that!

Would be nice to cut the nets down in Austin.

Tom Jones 5 years, 3 months ago

Would be great to clinch that early, but Self's too classy to cut down another team's nets. He's not Billy Tubbs.

Daniel Kennamore 5 years, 3 months ago

Also of note, this was KU's first OT win of the year after losing in the extra period to Indiana and Iowa State.

Tim Orel 5 years, 3 months ago

This and the comeback in that final Mizzou game are my two favorites. I seem to remember another big comeback (GA Tech?) but the first two I mentioned are ones I'll always treasure.

Darrel Stice 5 years, 3 months ago

That little comeback and overtime win in 2008 against Memphis was pretty special too! Last night was definitely one for the ages though!

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 3 months ago

The Ga Tech game was indeed a crazy comeback. During my three years at KU it was the best comeback that I witnessed. The house was rocking early on New Year's day I believe.

Brad Farha 5 years, 3 months ago

I admit it, I thought we were cooked at the 2:30 mark. So much fun watching these guys battle back like that.

Teddy Fields 5 years, 3 months ago

Huge win. Up 2 with 5 to go. Somewhat reminiscent of Missouri game in 12.

Brian Babcock 5 years, 3 months ago

Is it just me or were Coleby and Lightfoot huge in their brief appearances in the first half?

Brad Farha 5 years, 3 months ago

For sure. Loved Dwight's bucket, and Mitch got 2 blocks in 8 minutes!

Martin Rosenblum 5 years, 3 months ago

Next year, Mitch will be a mini-Withey with blocks and Coleby will be a mini-DJAck while Dok will just be DOK! A return to post play!

Kent Richardson 5 years, 3 months ago

Dwight's jam was man sized. Mitch's 4 boards and two blocks show a focus and commitment in practice and what an attitude. And the real DeVonte appeared. Sweet!!

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 3 months ago

Coleby had a better stat line in 2 min than Bragg had in 18. 18 min with ONE reb and FIVE fouls...

Tom Jones 5 years, 3 months ago

Bragg is still struggling at basketball, alas.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 3 months ago

You are very polite Tom. Struggling is not the word I would have used.

RJ King 5 years, 3 months ago

Coleby's bucket gave us back the lead (31-32?), so on my stat sheet, it's good for 5pts "extra credit." I also think psychologically it's good for the 5-6 main guys to feel like they have some back up.

Lightfoot's rebounding was valuable as well.

Barry Weiss 5 years, 3 months ago

simply awesome comeback, reminded me or our 2008 NC win over Memphis. What heart!!!!

Chad Conover 5 years, 3 months ago

Was at the game. By far the craziest this crowd has ever been. What I love is that most people stayed around even when it looked hopeless. This crowd deserves a big "Kudos!" RCJH

Barry Weiss 5 years, 3 months ago

Dick Vitale was going on and on about those who left early. He bugs me.

Martin Rosenblum 5 years, 3 months ago

Dickie V needs to join Mussberger in retirement. His inane stories are becoming a distraction to the other analysts even. With two minutes left in regulation, I muted the sound so I wouldn't have to listen to his voice and then, miraculously, is when the comeback began. So, the moral is, don't listen to Dickie V do our games. His Kentucky and Duke love affairs prevent him from really being respectable to other programs.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 3 months ago

No sh**. There was a few fans trickling out but not in mass as Vitale was shouting about.

RJ King 5 years, 3 months ago

I disagree. One fan leaving early is one too many.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 3 months ago

True but Vitale was acting as if it was in mass like the Kentucky fans. AFH still looked packed at the end.

RJ King 5 years, 3 months ago

He didn't really talk about numbers. He just kept saying that some fans were leaving. I think he was just absolutley shocked that ANY Kansas fan would actually leave - even in that situation. He has always pretty much touted our fans as the best out there.

I was last there for the Iowa State loss back in 2003 (?), and in those rare occurrences of a home loss, "we" literally remain in support of our team - who are college age players, not paid professionals.

Part of his hype was to describe what a wild, crazy, insane night it was turning out to be. From a broadcasting point of view, that WAS the story.

Bert White 5 years, 3 months ago

It was a piss poor performance and frustrating game to watch for the most part... But like I always tell my friends... YOU DON'T LEAVE EARLY. I joke around and say how stupid would you feel if you miss something spectacular like someone dunking with their feet because it was looking like a loss or a blow out win.

Amazing come back and I loved not seeing any quit in this team. I was ready to start a petition to never allow KU to go for the loudest court record, after Kentucky had to think of losing to us every time they bragged about having it and we almost had to think of losing to West Virginia when we bragged about it. Now if we can keep Dickie V out of AFH I'll be happy.

Brianna Zaleski 5 years, 3 months ago

Barry, Dukie V bugs me too, but he was 100% correct about those leaving early. He even convinced me not to turn of the tv in defeat. What about that bugs you exactly?

Bob Thompson 5 years, 3 months ago

What bugs me is he just talks to hear himself talk. Most of the time he has nothing relevant to say, yet he still talks.

RJ King 5 years, 3 months ago

I disagree here too. Dickie V is all about the kids. He arrives at that eventually. You just have to put up with his blubber along the way.

Yes his style and voice is annoying. But it's palatable if you "listen to the heart."

Martin Rosenblum 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm glad he has the kid's best interests at heart. Unfortunately, a person in his profession is firstly there for us to follow as they describe the action on the court/field, etc. A lot of pertinent background information is a plus for the audience to enjoy the games. But, when you are ignoring the flow of the game and it's play action, while making odd comparisons and observations that are not relevant and enriching the game experience, it becomes off-putting. His style of broadcasting was interesting and clever in the 80s and 90s. It has become way too out of date now and coupled with his non-broadcaster-ish voice, he is not an asset to a broadcast at all, but, a liability. Let him continue with the good work that he does for charities and his compassion for students and leave the broadcasting to the professionals.

Martin Rosenblum 5 years, 3 months ago

You're exactly right. Did you hear that one story he was telling that ended up with him dropping a Jerry Seinfeld sighting. I don't even know what his story was about. But, it certainly had nothing to do with KU vs WVA. His Bill Walton man crush is sort of disturbing too, don't you think?

Barry Weiss 5 years, 3 months ago

I'll tell you what bugs me, it was not his comment about the fans leaving early, it is his habit to dis KU in subtle ways unlike his Duke and North Carolina and Kentucky love affair. If you don't know that Brianna, you don't watch much Vitale. What about that bugs you?

Matt Gonzo 5 years, 3 months ago

Great win by the Hawks! Mizzou and this game were the best. I'm gonna have to get the Costco size bottle of heart meds for the tourney. Vitale drives me nuts as well. But the worst commentator ever is Bill Walton. He is horrible. 90% of the garbage that comes out his yapper doesn't even involve basketball. Glad he is stuck covering Pac-12. Rock Chalk Jayhawk boys! You make all Jayhawks proud. What heart and determination.

Tyler Capone 5 years, 3 months ago

0 points and 1 rebound in 18 minutes for Carlton Bragg...while fouling out. He does not deserve to get any PT from here on out IMO. Might be the worst defensive rebounder I have ever seen from someone who is 6'10".

RJ King 5 years, 3 months ago

Bragg has certainly not earned it, but Lucas still deserves a rest. Not sure Coleby's situation - if the knee is being compromised with playing time or not. Lightfoot quite promising for a freshman.

Playing time or not, I hope Bragg returns next year. Lightfoot and Preston need to be challenged. If Carlton does that, it will be a win-win.

But yeah, it's a mystery how he can be so ineffective. Out of position? He looks like a big, scared, and kind of clumsy puppy. I LIKE him! And want him to succeed.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't see any loss in production when Coleby is on the floor instead of Bragg. I'm not sure what options Bragg has. He can transfer but then he sits out a year and he has little shot of playing pro ball anywhere. If he stays, he might find himself backing up Preston.

HCBS hasn't given up on him even w/the off-court problems.

Mallory Briggans 5 years, 3 months ago

JIimmy Valvano said it best DONT GIVE UP ! .........DONT EVER GIVE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!

Nuff said !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kent Richardson 5 years, 3 months ago

The type of ball that WVU gets away with is painful to watch. They average about a foul for every opponent's offensive possession. This sellout style of utter denial stretches the rules and forces the game away from the players into the officials hands. It is hard to watch and reminds me of the Detroit Pistons of the 80's. Herky-jerky possessions and stop and go time after time are just Huggy's way of tricking the system into wins that rely more on calls and FT's over good play. When the officials make mistakes it is magnified. When calls go their way it's a 20 point win and if not it's a loss.

Great clutch shooting by DeVonte and Frank and super effort on the press rattled them but it was kind of a miracle we won. Phog Allen stole that ball from Adrian.

Brian Skelly 5 years, 3 months ago

I almost always Tivo the game and essentially watch it (most of the time) about 20 minutes behind live action. It allows me to skip commercials, replay highlight plays, and I can manage to miss live action scores -- and not know what going on yet.

My wife -- who's not a KU alum -- comes to the man cave to ask me "Can you believe this?" Of course now I know crazy stuff is happening, I just havent seen it yet.

Needless to say... WOW. How fun was that. Our comeback was great, but it was as much a WVU choke job as it was us coming back. A lot of stuff had to happen for what did happen to occur. Crazy game.

Let's put the hammer down in Waco this weekend!

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 3 months ago

I tape the games Brian. The 'stress' kills me. It's sad for a 57 rear old man but there it is.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 3 months ago

I do that a lot too, Marius, and I've got you by almost 12 years.

We had house guests last weekend and didn't get to see the TTU game live. However, of course, I taped it. I got a few updates during the game, and things looked pretty good at half, so I was confident. Then, a friend called me after the game but before I knew the final score. The fact that he was calling told me that KU had won, but I had no idea how much it came down to the last second.

Then, last night, after the game, I thought that it was too late to be calling him so I waited until this morning. He turned the tv off at the 3 minute mark, but he got curious and turned it back on a minute later. Then, he finished watching to the end. Still can't believe it!

Pam McCormick 5 years, 3 months ago

For any of you Vitale haters, the watch ESPN app has no commentary, you just hear the arena's PA. Of course the streaming quality is not great, but I watch on my Roku when Vitale is at KU games and gets on my nerves.

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