Thursday, May 25, 2017

No. 18 WVU hosts No. 2 Kansas on Tuesday

Daxter Miles Jr. (4) guards Oklahoma's Kameron McGusty (20). (Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Daxter Miles Jr. (4) guards Oklahoma’s Kameron McGusty (20).
(Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–With the dust settling on Saturday’s 79-75 loss at Kansas State, No.18 West Virginia University looks to snap a two-game losing skid but Tuesday’s opponent is none other than the second-ranked team in the nation.

Kansas (18-1, 7-0 Big 12) comes to the Coliseum with an 18-game winning streak and is looking to get redemption from last season’s 74-63 loss to the Mountaineers.

Senior point guard Frank Mason III is the Big 12’s top scorer, averaging 20.1 points per contest.

Mason shoots 53 percent from 3-point range and is a National Player of the Year candidate.

Besides Mason, the Jayhawks are fully loaded. Freshman Josh Jackson is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.5 points and 4.8 assists.

Devonte Graham (13.5 points, 4.8 assists), Svi Mykhailiuk and Landen Lucas (7.6 points and 7.9 rebounds) round out the starting five.

Kansas in search of their 13th consecutive league title, scoring 85.4 points per game

Head coach Bob Huggins argues with the referee during WVU's overtime loss to Oklahoma on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. (Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

Head coach Bob Huggins argues with the referee during WVU’s overtime loss to Oklahoma on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS)

“They’ve got multiple guys who can push the ball,” Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins said. “They’ve got great speed and they’re great finishers. I haven’t seen anybody near as good in transition.”

WVU returns home in a rut after struggling since knocking off then-No.1 Baylor two weeks ago. The Mountaineers struggled on the road in Texas and then came back-to-back losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State.

Now, WVU must try and get back on the winning side of things against one of the nation’s top teams.

Forward Esa Ahmad (11.3 points) came out of the gate blazing for the Mountaineers but has since cooled down drastically over the last two weeks.

Guard Tarik Phillip goes up for two of his game-high 20 points in West Virginia's 79-75 loss to Kansas State Saturday night at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Kansas State Athletics photo.)

Guard Tarik Phillip goes up for two of his game-high 20 points in West Virginia’s 79-75 loss to Kansas State Saturday night at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo Credit: Kansas State Athletics photo.)

The sophomore made four baskets and has committed 10 turnovers, including a costly one on Saturday late in the game.

WVU’s full-court pressure has struggled immensely over the last three games. The Mountaineers committed 23 turnovers against the Wildcats and 17 against Oklahoma.

Jevon Carter (12 points, 4.6 assists) leads the league in steals and has been the one consistent piece of late.

This will be the 10th meeting between the two teams. The Jayhawks have a 6-3 edge in the series.

However, WVU has won three in a row against Kansas at the Coliseum.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.

Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS

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