MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—Behind Sean McNeil, No. 10 West Virginia overcame a sluggish first half to thump Kansas State 65-43 on Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
McNeil led the Mountaineers (17-6, 10-4 Big 12) with 16 points. Derek Culver had 11 points. Taz Sherman, Emmitt Matthews Jr., and Jalen Bridges all had eight points.
Davion Bradford scored 11 points and Mike McGuirl tallied 10 for the Wildcats (7-19, 3-14).
K-State was held to their second-lowest points total of the season. The Wildcats committed 18 turnovers, which led to 23 points for WVU.
“Our defense was better in the second half,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “It was much better in the second half. (In the) first half, both teams were miserable. Both teams didn’t make any shots. In the second half, Sean started making some shots for us. Taz scored. Derek got involved a little more. We obviously can score when you look at our numbers over the past three weeks.”
The Mountaineers scored the first seven points of the second half. Jordan McCabe, who started in place of Miles “Deuce” McBride, scored all seven of his points in the team’s 17-0 run that gave the Mountaineers their largest lead, 59-34 with 5:14 left in the game.
“I thought he got better and better as the game went on,” Huggins said about McCabe’s performance. “He didn’t start out real well, but as the game went on, he really started to feel a lot more comfortable. He needs to make some of those shots that he had, but he’s really capable. That’s why you want him out there. For us, spreading the floor and keeping Derek down there has been pretty good for us.”
WVU shot 42 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc. K-State shot 29 percent from the floor and an abysmal 16 percent from long range.
Huggins recorded career-win 898 on Saturday afternoon.
The Mountaineers remain at home for a showdown against No. 2 Baylor on Tuesday night.
Cover Photo Credit: Dale Sparks