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Mountaineers Collapse in the Second Half to No. 3 Kansas

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – (December 22, 2020) — In a top ten matchup between No. 7-West Virginia and No. 3-Kansas, the Mountaineers (7-2, 1-1 Big 12) fell to the Jayhawks (8-1, 2-0 Big 12), 79-65.

WVU went into the locker room with the lead at the half behind Sean McNeil. The Kentucky native started 6-of-6 from three and scored 20 points in the first half.

The guard finished with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

McNeil was prepared to have the performance that he had in the first half.

“My body just felt really good going into the game in warmups,” McNeil said. “I saw that first one go in and it was a confidence builder from there.”

Deuce McBride had a game of his own as well, recording 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting against the Jayhawks. The Moeller High School alum was limited in action, dealing with foul trouble in the latter part of the game.

The duo of McNeil and McBride gave Kansas problems for the first half. KU didn’t have any problems in the second half.

The Jayhawks shot the lights out in the game on Tuesday night, hitting 16 threes on 43 percent. Christian Braun hit six of those threes and led away with 22 points.

The entire Kansas starting lineup scored in double figures against West Virginia (Braun with 22, Marcus Garrett with 15, Jalen Wilson with 17, Ochai Agbaji with 11 and David McCormack with 10.)

A stat that killed WVU was allowing so many second-chance points to Kansas. The Mountaineers allowed 25 points off of offensive rebounds.

WVU coach Bob Huggins obviously wasn’t pleased with giving the Jayhawks extra possessions.

“The ones they missed bounced out to the three-point line and they chased them down and we kind of stood there and watched them do it,” Huggins said. “They got a ton of rebounds that bounced out long.”

Oscar Tshiebwe had another underwhelming performance in this game, finishing with three points on 1-of-5 shooting. Tshiebwe also had only five rebounds, while also shooting 1-of-3 from the charity strike.

Huggins has noticed that Tshiebwe has not been playing like he did his freshman year, but is confident that he can bounce back from his rough start.

“He’s not being as physical,” Huggins explained. “He’s not running the way he did a year ago. I think that’ll change.”

“I think he’ll snap out of it,” Huggins added.

The West Virginia Mountaineers will go and enjoy Christmas with their families before potentially playing an impromptu game next week. Coach Huggins has stated that they’re looking to reschedule the Buffalo game that was scheduled for Dec. 29.

If not, the Mountaineers will continue Big 12 play when they travel to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Jan. 2. Coverage will begin at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.

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