West Virginia Turnovers
The Mountaineers had 21 total turnovers against Kansas, a number they tend to force their opponents into. Kansas only had 15, but WVU couldn’t overcome their own four turnovers in the final 1:46 of regulation. Things got ugly for Bob Huggins’ group down the stretch.
The sequence following that Mountaineer turnover went something like this: Devonte Graham drills a three pointer; West Virginia turns it over; Graham turns it back over to the ‘Eers; Graham fouls Tarik Phillip sending him to the free throw line. After Phillip connected on both attempts, WVU’s lead was eight with 1:40 to go, 66-58.
and Phillip would each contribute to the ‘Eers four turnovers in the waning minutes, Adrian’s coming with 1:14 to go and Phillip’s with 52 seconds remaining. Adrian’s turnover came right under his own basket, resulting in an immediate foul and two made free throws from Kansas’ Mason. Jayhawk big man Landen Lucas capitalized on the Phillip turnover and got the two points after an offensive put-back. After all that, the Moutnaineer lead was only three; 69-66, 47 seconds left.
Sophomore Esa Ahmad, who stepped up again for WVU against Kansas, made two huge free throws after the intentional foul came from the Jayhawks. Nine seconds later, the hot-shooting Graham drilled another three pointer! Score: 71-69. Phillip would cough up the rock one last time to give Kansas a chance, and then fouled Mason to send him to the free throw line – for the tie!!
He’d make both.
On the final possession, WVU didn’t take a single dribble toward the hoop and took the exact shot Kansas wanted: a fading three-pointer off the dribble. Overtime!
Things were much of the same in the extra five period for the ‘Eers, turning it over four more times and not once seeing a lead. West Virginia shared a tie heading into regulation but had held the lead the entire second half. Kansas hadn’t been ahead on the scoreboard since 1:28 remaining in the first half – until overtime.
This game was over before the jump ball even went up in OT, though. The Mountaineers offense hadn’t run a successful set in probably a half hour to 45 minutes in real-time (compared to game minutes). The Kansas press stifled WVU, and the ‘Eers made that clear with their poor execution.