Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

January 29, 2013

West Virginia falls to No. 2 Kansas 61-56

Mountaineers' Huggins misses out on $25,000 bonus

(Continued)

Kansas shot better from the field (54 percent) than at the free throw line (53 percent). It was the Jayhawks' second-worst showing of the season at the line.

Kansas had 16 turnovers, including three apiece by McLemore, Releford and Elijah Johnson.

"Our guard play has got to get better," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "Teams that pressure us, we've kind of thrown it around of late. I thought we did some good things but we made some bonehead plays."

Aaric Murray had 17 points and Juwan Staten added 14 for the Mountaineers (9-11, 2-5), who fell to 0-4 against ranked opponents this season.

Without any players averaging in double-figure scoring for the season, Huggins has jumbled his lineups this season to try to come up with size matchups and points production.

Lately, not much has worked.

West Virginia has lost five of six games. With 11 games left in the regular season, the Mountaineers are in jeopardy of missing the NCAA tournament for the first time under Huggins, their sixth-year coach.

Freshman Eron Harris, who led West Virginia in scoring at nearly 16 points over the last three games, was limited to two points on 0-of-4 shooting against Kansas.

"I just never know what we are going to do," Huggins said. "It seems like when we have made shots, we miss free throws. When offense kind of ran, we didn't guard (Kansas)."

Big 12 newcomer West Virginia never led in the second half. Staten scored three straight baskets, including a jumper that pulled the Mountaineers within 48-46 with 10:19 left.

"West Virginia executed their plays well (in the second half) and we weren't in tune with our scouting report and they got some easy baskets," Releford said.

But West Virginia fell silent over the next 3 minutes, while McLemore, Kansas' leading scorer, made up for a sour first half in which he spent most of the time on the bench in foul trouble.

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