Kansas State rallies, beats No. 24 West Virginia 82-76 in OT
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Markquis Nowell had a game-high 23 points and 10 assists, Keyontae Johnson scored 18, and Abayomi Iyiola added 14 points as Kansas State rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat No. 24 West Virginia 82-76 in overtime in the Big 12 opener Saturday night.
The Wildcats (12-1) scored the first six points in overtime after West Virginia forced the extra period on a tying 3-pointer by Kedrian Johnson (nine points) with one second left in regulation. It was West Virginia’s third 3-pointer in a game that both teams struggled mightily to shoot the ball from deep.
Nowell took over in the extra period, scoring five points and helping Kansas State hold off the Mountaineers.
“He is just such a competitor,” Kansas State coach Jerome Tang said. “We are both competitors and we both want to win and you’ll never fault him for effort. I am so proud of him.”
Tre Mitchell scored 16 points and Emmitt Matthews Jr. added 12 for West Virginia (10-3, 0-1), which had 20 turnovers. The Wildcats scored 22 points off those miscues. Nowell was crucial to forcing the 20 turnovers, as the K-State senior guard tallied seven steals. Two of his seven takeaways came in the overtime period.
“They outplayed us and we had some guys do some really stupid things that enabled them to get back in the games,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “At the start of the game, we were passing the ball, defending, but we gave up too many point-blank shots because we are out of position. We gave this game away.”
The Wildcats shot 29 of 69 (42%) from the field, while West Virginia was 26 of 63 (41%).
“I said this to the team, ‘How do you miss a one-footer? How do you continue to miss that many free throws,’” Huggins said. “The bad news is that this is probably one the easiest places to play in the league.”
Kansas State took its first lead eight minutes into the second half at 44-42 after going nearly six minutes without a basket at the start of the game.
“I am very proud of the guys and I know we had fight in us,” Tang said. “I told the guys let’s settle down and for us to just continue and rebound.”
West Virginia: The Mountaineers went cold in the second half and lost a double-digit halftime lead. They will need to work on not turning the ball over after having 20 in the loss.
Kansas State: Despite the slow start, the Wildcats found a way to win. The 21-point first half was the team’s lowest scoring half this season.
West Virginia: Travels to Oklahoma State on Monday.
Kansas State: Travels to Texas on Tuesday.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.