MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Holding Kansas scoreless over the final 2:34 of regulation, the West Virginia Mountaineers blew past the No. 7/8 Jayhawks in the final seconds, 65-64, Saturday afternoon inside WVU Coliseum. West Virginia’s Jermaine Haley hit the go-ahead bucket with seven seconds remaining before two Jayhawk game-winning attempts on the other end fell short as KU suffered its second loss of the Big 12 season.
The loss dropped the Jayhawks’ record to 15-3 on the year and 4-2 in the league, while West Virginia snapped a five-game losing streak, moving to 9-9 in 2018-19 and to 1-5 in Big 12 play.
With Kansas leading by six points and just over two minutes remaining, as it had done all game, West Virginia refused to go away. Wesley Harris connected on a 3-pointer at the 2:14 mark the cut the KU lead in half, 64-61, before a missed Marcus Garrett jumper on the other end quickly gave the home side the ball back with 1:51 to play.
Derek Culver made it a one-point game just 25 seconds later when he sliced to the rim for a lay-up. For a moment it seemed as though Garrett made a game-saving play on the Jayhawks’ next trip down the court, stealing the ball after a missed lay-up to give his team a fresh possession with only 54 ticks left in the game. But a missed 3-pointer from Lagerald Vick put the ball in Haley’s hands, where he was able to convert on the other end on his lay-up with seven seconds to go in regulation. It marked WVU’s first lead since the 13:38 mark of the second half.
The Jayhawks got two tries at a potential game-winner. Vick missed a 3-point attempt from the left wing but Dedric Lawson was able to bring down the offensive board. His desperation jumper as time expired didn’t go, however, as Kansas suffered a heartbreaking 65-64 loss.
It was a back-and-forth affair over the opening 20 minutes and, while the Jayhawks were able to amass a 20-14 rebound advantage, they weren’t unable to put much distance between themselves and the Mountaineers. Thirteen first-half turnovers and a 37 percent shooting clip helped the home side stick with KU in the opening frame, which included 11 lead changes.
A pair of Lawson free throws with 3:38 to play in the half gave KU a 21-16 advantage, but West Virginia responded with a 7-2 run to close the half and knot up the score at 23-23 as both teams headed to the intermission.
After WVU came out of the locker room and pushed its lead to three points, 28-25, on James Bolden’s triple at the 18:45 mark, Kansas took control for much of the second half. On the Jayhawks’ ensuing possession, Dotson drilled his lone 3-pointer of the game and Kansas was off and running.
Back-to-back threes from Quentin Grimes and Vick, along with a free throw from Lawson, handed the Jayhawks a five point lead, 39-34, less than five minutes after the restart. KU hit 11 of its first 14 tries from the field in the second half, but was never able to build a lead greater than two possessions for the rest of the contest. Lawson scored eight of the Jayhawks’ final 12 points and, with Garrett’s lay-up with 2:35 to play, KU held its largest lead of the day at 64-58. However, Garrett’s bucket would mark the final points for Kansas as the Mountaineers stormed past them in the final minutes to secure their first Big 12 victory of the season.
Garrett and Lawson each finished with 15 points, with Lawson adding 11 rebounds to collect his 12th double-double of the season and Garrett posting a career-best six steals. Vick was the third Jayhawk to score in double figures, tallying 13 points in 33 minutes.
QUOTES – Full Quotes
“That was bad. We played awful. They played awful, too, the first half. (In the) Second half, we actually controlled most of the half. We probably played a little bit better, took care of the ball, made a couple of shots and played to our strengths a little bit. Then, when it got tied late, we had a chance. We helped (on defense) when I don’t think there was any reason to help and gave up the three to cut it to three points. We’re in the double bonus, they’re in the double bonus and you’ve got to drive the ball. We bailed them out by shooting a couple of really ill-advised, bad 3s … Bad execution and that’s on me. Certainly, I should have called timeout. It doesn’t mean we would have scored, but I think we could have at least had a closer chance to trying to do something (to score) that had a chance.”
On Marcus Garrett’s impact when he is on the floor for the Jayhawks:
“Marcus is playing terrific. He was, by far, the best player of the first half. He had to do everything. He played well and we had some other guys play well, in spurts, without question. But (having) one assist and 13 turnovers, that’s a reflection of never having been in this situation and running from the ball maybe a little bit, not having quite as much leadership out there as what you’d like to have. Still though, the guys made some plays to put us in a good position to win the game and we’d win probably nine-out-of-10 situations that are like that.”
NOTABLES – Full Notes
- The loss marked KU’s first to a team 0-5 or worse in Big 12 play since KU fell at TCU (0-8) on Feb. 6, 2013.
- The loss also ended a Kansas four-game winning streak against West Virginia and made the KU-WVU series 10-5 in favor of Kansas, 2-5 in games played in Morgantown with all seven meetings at WVU Coliseum.
- The Jayhawks were held without a 3-point field goal in a half (0-6 in the first half) for just the second time this season. KU was also held without a triple in the first half against Stanford (12/1/18).
- Kansas tallied one assist in the first half, marking the lowest by the Jayhawks in a half since Kansas recorded just one in the first half against Stanford (12/1/18).
- West Virginia’s eight first-half steals were the most by a KU opponent in a half since Oklahoma State had eight swipes in the first half of a March, 3 2018 contest.
- The 23-23 tie in the first half marked both the fewest points in a half by KU as well as the fewest points allowed in the first half by the Jayhawks this season.
- After neither team made a shot from three in the first half, Kansas and West Virginia opened the second half going a combined 5-5 from beyond-the-arc in the first 4:05.
- With Kansas leading 64-58, West Virginia finished the game on a 7-0 run spanning 2:14. Kansas went zero for its last five from the field.
- Kansas’ six assists is the fewest in a conference game since KU posted six against Texas Tech on Feb. 18, 2014.
- West Virginia entered the game averaging 14.8 offensive rebounds a game, ranking it fifth in the nation. Kansas limited the Mountaineers to just five offensive boards.
- The 17 lead changes were the most this season in a single game.
- The loss marked the second time this season KU has been defeated after leading with 5:00 remaining in regulation. The Jayhawks are now 13-2 on the season and 424-17 in the Bill Self era when ahead with five minutes to play.
- KU outrebounded West Virginia 34-28, marking the 11th time this season Kansas has edged its opponent on the glass.
- Lagerald Vick’s 13 points moved him past Cole Aldrich (1,038), Carl Henry (1,044) and Nolen Ellison (1,045) to sit 51st all-time in Kansas scoring at 1,046 points.
- With two makes from deep, Vick also moved past Jerod Haase (156) for 14th all-time in 3-point makes at 157.
- RS-junior forward Dedric Lawson Lawson finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, marking his 12th double-double of the season and 48th of his career.
- Sophomore guard Marcus Garrett collected a career-high six steals, marking the most by a Jayhawk since Xavier Henry racked up seven steals against Baylor (1/20/10). His steal total marked the most by a KU sophomore since Mario Chalmers tallied six thefts against UCLA (3/24/07).
Kansas returns home for its second meeting against Iowa State in 16 days when the Cyclones come to Allen Fieldhouse for an 8 p.m. (CT) tip-off on ESPN’s Big Monday on Jan. 21. Kansas is 181-65 all-time against Iowa State, including a 93-16 advantage in Lawrence and a 52-10 edge in Allen Fieldhouse. The Cyclones came out on top in the first meeting this season in Ames, 77-60, on Jan. 5.