K-State men’s basketball looks to knock off West Virginia at home

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Senior forward Wesley Iwundu moves around a defender during the K-State game against Baylor in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 14, 2017. (Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

Kansas State has lost to West Virginia five times straight. They will look to reverse that trend Saturday when the No. 7 Mountaineers come to town to take on the Wildcats.

K-State is gearing up for the game after a big road win against Oklahoma State on Wednesday night. The Cats beat the Cowboys thanks to the offense running at full strength.

The Wildcats scored 96 points for the win, their highest point total of the season. They were led by sophomore guard Barry Brown who paced the team with 22 points. Seniors D.J. Johnson and Wesley Iwundu also played well; Johnson finished with 18 points and six rebounds. Iwundu had a great all-around game and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

“It was just a good team win and a great road win,” head coach Bruce Weber said to media after the game. “We’ve been so close and something good happened. If you have a good attitude, good things will happen.”

West Virginia, on the other hand, fell victim to an upset at the hands of Oklahoma. The Mountaineers moved up to No. 7 in the rankings before the game, but allowed Oklahoma senior guard Jordan Woodard to drive the length of the court and make a game-winning layup.

Despite the loss to Oklahoma, the Mountaineers are one of the top teams in the Big 12 Conference and the country. They come into the game at 15-3 and 4-2 in the Big 12. Their up-tempo pressure defense could cause problems for the Wildcats; they lead the nation in steals-per-game with more than 12.

Having multiple ball-handlers on the court in Iwundu, Brown and sophomore guard Kamau Stokes could help offset West Virginia’s pressure. The Wildcats will also be well prepared after playing Oklahoma State, a team that can cause fatigue like the Mountaineers.

“When we play West Virginia, it’ll be even faster,” Iwundu said after the Oklahoma State game. “So, I think we need to do a good job of taking care of our bodies, recovering and getting prepared for the next game.”

The Wildcats and Mountaineers will tip off at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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