West Virginia takes on No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks in final home game of regular season - The Daily Athenaeum: Sports

West Virginia takes on No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks in final home game of regular season

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Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014 3:37 am

The West Virginia men’s basketball team wraps up its regular season schedule this weekend at home against the No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks at noon.

The Mountaineer Ticket Office announced the game was sold out Wednesday, marking the first sell-out at the Coliseum this season.

The Mountaineers (16-14, 8-9 Big 12) have lost five of their last seven games after falling to the No. 23 Oklahoma Sooners 72-62 Wednesday in Norman, Okla.

The Sooners put together a 27-7 run in the middle of the second half, led by senior forward Cameron Clark who scored a team high 19 points.

Eron Harris scored only five points before fouling out, while Juwan Staten led all scorers with 24 points, marking his ninth game of 20 or more points this season.

“They really crowded him (Harris) and tried to keep him from catching the ball,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “They switched everything with him.”

OU (22-8, 11-6 Big 12) scored seven straight points capped off by Buddy Hield’s 3-pointer to take a 47-44 lead. The undermanned Mountaineers responded with just one field goal in the next five minutes.

“(Harris) got frustrated and in foul trouble,” Huggins said. “My fight was, should I put him back in the first half earlier? But if he picks up a third foul, then I’m an idiot and we don’t have a chance to win.”

WVU and OU split the regular season series 1-1. The Mountaineers knocked off the Sooners 91-86 in overtime in February.

The Mountaineers will welcome a Kansas team (23-7, 14-3 Big 12) that is coming off an 82-57 win over Texas Tech for their fifth win in the last six games. Forward Tarik Black led the Jayhawks with 19 points, while Perry Ellis chipped in with 13 points off the bench.

Kansas is expected to be without freshman phenom Joel Embiid, who is suffering from a back injury. Embiid, who averages more than 2.5 blocks per contest, is likely to return in time for the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks knocked off WVU in Lawrence, Kan., in February by a score of 83-69. Andrew Wiggins led the Jayhawks with 19 points, while Embiid grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked three shots.

The Mountaineers must upset Kansas and get some help from Iowa State and Kansas State to avoid a Wednesday night game in next week’s Big 12 tournament in Kansas City. The top six seeds in the conference are guaranteed a bye.

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