Cumberland Times-News

Basketball

January 29, 2013

West Virginia falls to No. 2 Kansas 61-56

Mountaineers' Huggins misses out on $25,000 bonus

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Bob Huggins couldn't pull in some extra cash during the Mountaineers' first-ever meeting with No. 2 Kansas.

The Mountaineers clawed back from a 15-point deficit but managed just four field goals over the final 10 minutes and fell to the Jayhawks 61-56 on Monday night.

Huggins could have picked up a $25,000 bonus for a regular-season win over the Jayhawks, something that was included in a contract extension he signed in November.

Earlier Monday on the Big 12 coaches' teleconference, Huggins said he had nothing to do with the possible bonus, instead giving credit to his attorney.

The clause became moot in this game anyway and wasn't a topic of discussion afterward. The Mountaineers shot just 37 percent and Huggins fell to 0-5 all-time against the Jayhawks.

"Kansas is good. It's not like they're one of those teams that plays nobody in the preseason and gets ranked," Huggins said. "I think they've got the best of both worlds really. They've got experience, and they've got youthful enthusiasm."

Huggins will get another chance on March 2 when West Virginia plays at Kansas.

On Monday night, Travis Releford and Jeff Withey both scored 15 points while Ben McLemore overcame early foul trouble to add 13 points for Kansas (19-1, 7-0 Big 12), which stretched the nation's longest winning streak to 18 games.

The Jayhawks have held their last six opponents under 60 points. They are in the middle of a stretch of six of nine games on the road.

The next test for the winning streak comes at home Saturday against Oklahoma State (13-5, 3-3).

"None of us are paying any attention to it," Releford said of the streak, which started on Nov. 15. "We don't sit around in the locker room and talk about it because we know it's a long season. So we're not too worried about it."

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