The No. 16 West Virginia men’s basketball team went into Allen Fieldhouse and came out with a 60-53 loss to the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday.
The Mountaineers (11-2, 0-1 Big 12) started out the game dominating on all sides of the ball, taking a 17-7 lead with 12:13 remaining in the first half. The lead was still 10 at 30-20 late in the half after sophomore Jordan McCabe buried a three to force a Kansas timeout.
Kansas (11-2, 1-0) responded and scored the last four points in the first half to give WVU a 30-24 halftime lead.
The Jayhawks came out in the second half on fire, tying the game at 32 just over two minutes in after sophomore Ochai Agbaji hit a three for his first points of the game. WVU responded and scored the next four points, but Kansas came back and took a 39-38 lead with 12:44 remaining in the game, their first lead since it was 3-2.
Kansas did not give up the lead the rest of the game, with the largest coming with 13 seconds remaining at 60-51.
WVU freshman Oscar Tshiebwe came out of the gates dominating the Jayhawks, collecting a double-double before halftime. He had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the first half before cooling off in the second and finishing with 17 points and 17 rebounds.
Fellow freshman Miles “Deuce” McBride was coming off a career performance against Ohio State in the last game and continued to make plays in this one. He finished with 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting and 4-of-6 from the free throw line.
After a jumper from McBride to put the Mountaineers ahead by one at the 13-minute mark, WVU went on a field goal drought of over eight minutes to doom them in the Phog. The next field goal game from junior guard Taz Sherman 4:13 remaining in the game to cut the Kansas lead to 49-44.
Free throw shooting has been a problem this season as well and continued to plague the Mountaineers. They finished the game going 12-of-22 for 55%.
WVU also committed 16 turnovers in the game and only got 7 assists, including just one assist in the final 20 minutes.
Coming into the game, WVU led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense and three-point percentage defense. The inside game of Kansas helped them to a 40% overall field goal percentage, but only shot 3-of-17 from three for 18%.
Kansas got 17 points and 11 rebounds from big man Udoka Azubuike, who did not miss a shot from the field at 6-of-6. He did go 5-of-10 from the free throw line.
Point guard Devon Dotson also contributed 16 points for the Jayhawks, who won their 29th straight conference opener, dating back to 1991.
Coming up next, the Mountaineers will stay on the road to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Monday at 9 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.