West Virginia beats No. 11 Kansas State to help NCAA hopes
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Erik Stevenson scored 27 points, Kedrian Johnson added 23 and West Virginia gave its NCAA Tournament hopes a big boost with an 89-81 victory over No. 11 Kansas State on Saturday.
Emmitt Matthews added 20 points and Tre Mitchell scored 14 for West Virginia (18-13, 7-11 Big 12), which has won three of four heading into the conference tournament.
Stevenson, Johnson, Matthews, Mitchell and West Virginia’s other seniors sang John Denver’s “Country Roads” following a home win for the final time before going into the student section to celebrate.
Before a sellout crowd, West Virginia rallied from 10 points down to take a 39-37 halftime lead and never trailed after that, shooting 58% (15 of 26) from the floor in the second half.
Kansas State (23-8, 11-7) was within 61-57 when Johnson blocked Markquis Nowell’s layup attempt, and Stevenson hit a 3-pointer at the other end of the court. Stevenson hit another 3 less than 2 minutes later for a 69-59 lead with 8:49 remaining.
Kansas State went scoreless over a nearly three-minute stretch and the Mountaineers padded their lead at the free-throw line, going 7 of 8 en route to their largest lead, 84-69, with 2:42 left.
Kansas State saw its four-game winning streak snapped. Nowell and Keyontae Johnson each scored 24 points for the Wildcats and Cam Carter finished with 13.
Kansas State: The Wildcats scored the first eight points of the game but couldn’t keep the momentum going. Despite the loss, Kansas State capped its best regular season since 2018-19, when they went 24-7.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers had a 22-9 advantage at the free-throw line and forced 20 turnovers.
Both teams play in the Big 12 tournament that starts Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri. The Wildcats have a first-round bye.
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