WVU basketball: Kansas blocks Mountaineers in top match up

MORGANTOWN, WV - JANUARY 15: Sagaba Konate
MORGANTOWN, WV - JANUARY 15: Sagaba Konate /

The WVU basketball team lost its second straight Big 12 contest in a similar fashion on Monday.

In another top 10 match up, the Kansas Jayhawks overcame a 16-point deficit to stun the Mountaineers, 71-66. West Virginia again struggled to score in the second half and couldn’t overcome a pick up in play by the Jayhawks.

The Mountaineers looked unbeatable early in the first half. They led, 5-0, early and rallied for a nice lead. Plus, the defensive blocking of Sagaba Konate gained national attention and social media was ablaze with posts fawning over the West Virginia center.

Konate had the best game of any WVU basketball player with a team-high 16 points and five blocks. Konate turned in a double-double with 10 rebounds. In his second game back with the WVU basketball team, Esa Ahmad scored 15 points. Jevon Carter was solid by adding 14 points.

But the Mountaineers couldn’t score when it mattered most. The big drought was there again, just like it was in the loss against Texas Tech. Going a bit further, the Mountaineers lost their first game to Texas A&M because of drastic scoring struggles. Against the Aggies, the WVU basketball team built a double-digit lead early but didn’t do enough to preserve it down the stretch.

More from Hail WV

Against Kansas, the Mountaineers also struggled defensively because they only created five steals. The WVU basketball team did force 13 total turnovers, but also turned the ball over 16 times.

The Mountaineers had a slim rebounding advantage over Kansas, 38-35. For Kansas, Udoka Azubuike, grabbed nine rebounds and was one of three Jayhawks to reach double figures in scoring. He scored 10 points, Devonte Graham scored 16 points and Svi Mykhailiuk led all scorers with 17 points.

Things are starting to get interesting for the WVU basketball. All the national hype that was rightfully placed upon it last week is now gone. The Mountaineers will remain in the national rankings, but they are certainly not playing like a top 10 team and it may take a while to even sniff the top 10 again this season.

Next: All-time WVU basketball team

West Virginia is back in action on Saturday against Texas. The game is at the WVU Coliseum with a 2 p.m. tip off. The Longhorns are 11-6 and are coming off a loss at Oklahoma State. Before facing the Mountaineers, Texas plays against Texas Tech on Wednesday.