Kansas State men’s basketball falls to West Virginia

Sophomore guard Barry Brown makes a shot on the basket during the K-State game against West Virginia in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 21, 2017. (Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

After a half of play, the Kansas State men’s basketball team looked like they had a decent chance to pull off their second upset on the road in their last-three games. But with the game tied at 34, the short-handed Wildcats were unable to keep up with West Virginia in the second half and wound up losing in a blowout 85-66 Saturday afternoon in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Things were made exceptionally more difficult for K-State before the game even started when senior forward D.J. Johnson was ruled out of the game due to injury.

Freshman guard Xavier Sneed made his first start of the season in his place and the Wildcats showed no signs of being affected by the loss of Johnson early on. They went up 14-6 early and maneuvered through West Virginia’s press defense with relative ease.

West Virginia eventually turned it on, though, making a 17-1 run to pull ahead of the Cats. K-State dealt with foul trouble from a myriad of players but managed to pull back even with the Mountaineers by halftime.

The second half was all West Virginia.

The Mountaineers slowly wore down K-State and the effects of not having Johnson on the court showed. The Wildcats struggled with depth, especially with Sneed, senior forward Wesley Iwundu and sophomore guards Kamau Stokes and Barry Brown all dealing with foul trouble.

West Virginia pulled ahead by 12 midway through the half and K-State was never able to bring the game back within single digits, eventually losing the game 85-66. The Wildcats struggled to shoot the ball all day as they shot just 35 percent from the field.

K-State was led in scoring by Iwundu and Stokes. Iwundu finished with 14 points and eight rebounds; Stokes scored 12 points.

K-State will next hit the court Wednesday at home against Iowa State. That game will tip off at 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.

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