Kansas overtakes West Virginia in Big 12 quarterfinals
Courtesy of Kansas Athletics
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Top-seeded Kansas led wire to wire as the Jayhawks clinched an 87-63 win over West Virginia on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship at T -Mobile Center.
The Jayhawks dominated the first half, shooting 48.4 percent from the floor and leading by double digits through the final 12:31 of the half. Kansas used a 20-2 run that lasted over six minutes of playing time and built a 24-4 lead after Jalen Wilson made 5 of 6 free throws that were allowed on the back of three technical fouls against West Virginia, two of which were assessed to the head. coach Bob Huggins. Ochai Agbaji led the Jayhawks with 11 points and Wilson had 10 as KU led 41-19 at the break.
Kansas continued to pour it in the second half, holding a lead of at least 14 points the entire half. The Jayhawks used a 10-0 run to take a 71-45 lead with 5:55 remaining and KU trailed no less than 28 at 84-56 with 2:08 remaining. The Jayhawks scored 46 points in the second half but trailed WVU by just two after the Mountaineers shot more than 50% from the field after halftime.
Four Jayhawks scored in double figures, with Big 12 Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji leading with 18 points. Jalen Wilson added 15 points and Mitch Lightfoot added 10 off the bench while Christian Braun recorded a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Dajuan Harris led the Jayhawks with seven assists while Lightfoot had five of Kansas’ seven blocked shots in the game.
Kansas shot 52.4 percent from the field for the game and hit six three-pointers. The Jayhawks dominated in the paint, outscoring WVU 48-27 and outscoring the Mountaineers 48-22 on points in the paint. KU had 17 assists on 33 baskets and scored 10 points on 11 turnovers at West Virginia.
The victory gave Kansas a 3-0 record against West Virginia this season with an average winning margin of 21.
Kansas advances to the Phillips 66 Men’s Basketball Championship Semifinals and the Jayhawks will take on No. 5 TCU at 6:00 p.m. CT on Friday, March 11 on ESPN2, with a berth in the championship game on the line. will mark the 21st Big 12 Tournament semifinal appearance for the Jayhawks, who will enter the semifinals 14-6 all-time.