Kansas added another win in the race to win the Big 12 Conference for the 10th year in a row with a convincing win over a hot West Virginia team Saturday, February 9. After stubbing their toe with a loss to Texas, KU has ticked off two solid wins over tough Big 12 opponents. They took the latest game over West Virginia by a score of 83-69.
The teams traded leads and ties until the 5:32 mark in the first half. West Virginia (14-10, 6-5 Big 12) never lost its fight, cutting the game to four points with five minutes to play, but a 7-0 late Kansas run put the Mountaineers away for good. Ten games through the Big 12 Conference season, Kansas (18-5, 9-1 Big 12) took a two-game lead in the league race with the win.
Freshman guard Andrew Wiggins set the tone with 19 points, including 7-for-10 from the line. Selden was right behind him with 17 points, including a 3-of-5 from three-point territory. For the second-straight game freshman center Joel Embiid waited till the second half to notch his first points, but that didn't deter the seven-footer from chalking up his sixth double-double of the year with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Embiid's three blocks puts him at 60 for the season and just two shy of the KU freshman record (Eric Chenowith, 62, 1998).
Kansas has turned into the team of two seasons as they have flipped the switch and showcased much of the potential they came into the season hyped up with. Maybe it was a matter of surviving a tough non-conference schedule with a very new and very young team, or maybe it’s the thrill of conference play beating up on familiar opponents. Whatever it is, Bill Self needs to bottle it up and keep it for March.
Kansas will play at Kansas State on its third of four ESPN Big Mondays on February 10 at 8 P.M. The Jayhawks will host TCU on Saturday, February 15, at 3 P.M. on the Big 12 Television Network and then travel to Texas Tech on Tuesday, February 18, at 6:30 P.M. on ESPNU.