On January 19th, 2019, the 7th ranked Kansas Jayhawks (15-3, 4-1) visited the WVU Basketball Coliseum. That day, the struggling Mountaineers desperately needed a win as they were just 8-9 overall and 0-5 in conference play. In a game that was tied at halftime and had a largest lead of just 6 points, it was a driving layup by Jermaine Haley that won WVU the game with just 15 seconds remaining. WVU won 65-64.
There are a lot of similarities between the 2018-19 Mountaineers and the Mountaineers of the 2023-24 season. Both units saw significant roster turnover throughout the season, and of course, both struggled mightily to win games. While 2019 pales in comparison to all that this team has been through over the last several months, there are some similarities. One aspect that we can't yet compare is how both teams respond to the big win. The 2019 team went on to lose 8 of 9 games after the improbable upset over the mighty Jayhawks. What will result from this year’s win over KU remains to be seen.
Final Score: WVU 91, Kansas 85
This game was close throughout, both teams had their largest lead of just 7 points and like the 2019 matchup, this game was knotted at halftime. It was rather impressive shooting from both teams that led to a high-scoring first half of 51 points a piece. West Virginia led by 1 or 2 possessions coming down the stretch in the second half, but they were answering every Kansas basket, with some big plays of their own.
Kansas trailed by 5 at around the 4-minute mark in the second half. K.J. Adams Jr. and Kevin McCullar Jr. went on a 6-0 run to give KU the lead with 2:30 to go. A beautiful driving layup by Patrick Suemnick gave WVU an 82-81 lead with 2 minutes remaining, a lead that they would not relinquish. West Virginia marched to the free throw line, making 9 of 10 attempts in the last 34 seconds.
RaeQuan Battle, Patrick Suemnick, and Kerr Kriisa were the stories in this one. Big 12 basketball watchers most certainly did not have Patrick Suemnick out-scoring and out-rebounding Hunter Dickinson on their bingo card, but that’s what happened on a cold, mid-January day in Morgantown.
Notables vs Kansas
RaeQuan Battle - 23 points | 9 rebounds | 3-7 3PT |
Kerr Kriisa - 15 points | 3 assists | 2 steals | 3-4 3PT | 4-4 FT
Seth Wilson - 9 points | 3-3 3PT
West Virginia will visit the UCF Knights on Tuesday night for a 7PM ET tip-off.