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Kansas State beats WVU in Huggins' return to Manhattan
Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - Will Spradling scored 19 points to help Kansas State spoil Bob Huggins' return to Manhattan with a 71-61 win over West Virginia on Monday.
Huggins, who has coached West Virginia since 2007, served as the Wildcats' head coach for the 2006-07 season. Huggins is credited with resurrecting the Kansas State program after guiding it to a 23-12 finish, its best record since it went 25-9 in 1987-88. That squad became the first major-conference team to be left out of the NCAA Tournament after winning at least 20 games.
"I really like this place," Huggins said. "I like the people. The people have been wonderful. It's nice to see people you haven't seen in a while, but at the end of the day, it's a business trip. We're supposed to win. We didn't."
Nino Williams added 13 points and Angel Rodriguez had 11 points and seven assists for the Wildcats (21-5, 10-3 Big 12), winners in six of their last seven games.
"It was just a very physical game," Wildcats head coach Bruce Weber said. "We stayed the course and stayed strong and did what we needed to."
Deniz Kilicli scored 16 points and Aaric Murray added nine points and nine rebounds for the Mountaineers (13-13, 6-7), who have dropped two of their last three games.
Kansas State used a trio of 3-pointers to race out to an early 9-4 lead. The Wildcats then opened an 11-2 run to take a 20-6 lead near the midway point of the first half.
The Mountaineers scored the final five points of the half to go into the break trailing 33-20.
K-State opened the second stanza with a 10-2 swing to push its spread to 21 points, but WVU scored seven unanswered points to cut it to 43-29 with 13:55 to go.
The teams traded baskets until Eron Harris was whistled for a technical foul after shoving Spradling. Spradling made four consecutive free throws, and Rodriguez's three-point play pushed Kansas State's edge over 20 points.
The Mountaineers closed the game on a 13-2 run to account for the final margin.
The Wildcats shot 50 percent (23-for-46) from the field ... K-State outscored WVU, 22-14, in the paint ... WVU scored 20 points off 18 turnovers ... Kilicli outscored the rest of the Mountaineers' starters, 16-13.
02/19 02:02:16 ET
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