West Virginia (10-7) at Kansas State (13-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 18, 1:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bramlage Coliseum (15,528) -- Manhattan, Kansas. Television: Big 12 TV, MASN, Altitude. Home Record: WVU 5-4, KSU 9-1. Away Record: WVU 2-2, KSU 1-1. Neutral Record: WVU 3-1, KSU 3-2. Conference Record: WVU 2-2, KSU 3-1. Series Record: Kansas State leads, 3-1.
GAME NOTES: Seeking an end to their two-game losing streak, the West Virginia Mountaineers hit the road to tangle with the Kansas State Wildcats in Big 12 Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
West Virginia brings a 10-7 record into this contest, and that includes a 2-2 record in conference play. The Mountaineers had opened their league ledger with wins over TCU and Texas Tech, both on the road, but the team has stumbled of late, losing a pair of home games to Oklahoma State (73-72) and Texas (80-69).
Kansas State is fresh off a 72-66 win over No. 25 Oklahoma, as the Wildcats improved to 13-4 overall, 3-1 in conference, and 9-1 at home. K-State has actually won 10 of its last 11 games, the lone setback in that span coming against bitter rival Kansas in Lawrence last Saturday, 86-60.
Kansas State owns a 3-1 series advantage over West Virginia. This will be the fourth meeting in the last four seasons, and the first took place way back in 1949.
Juwan Staten poured in 23 points to lead all scorers, marking his third straight game with at least 20 points, but it wasn't enough as the Mountaineers lost to Texas by double digits in their last outing. Staten shot 9-of-14 from the field while also dishing out five assists, but West Virginia connected on only 37.7 percent of its total shots, which included a dreadful 4-of-25 showing from beyond the arc. Terry Henderson added 16 points and Re'mi Dibo 10 for the Mountaineers, who saw their season scoring average dip under 80 ppg (79.9) as a result. Eron Harris, who missed all seven of his 3-point tries in the loss to the Longhorns to tally a mere six points, joins Staten atop the team's scoring list at 17.4 ppg. Staten is also one of the best playmakers around, as he dishes out 6.1 apg, while also coming up with more than his share of loose balls (5.9 rpg). Terry Henderson (12.2 ppg) rounds out the double-digit scorers for WVU, while Devin Williams (9.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) spearheads its rebounding effort.
Freshman Marcus Foster scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures, as Kansas State topped Oklahoma by six points earlier this week. Shane Southwell finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats, who converted 11-of-21 3-point attempts while holding the Sooners to just a 33.3 percent shooting effort overall. KSU won the game despite being outscored in the paint (26-14), off turnovers (27-8), in second-chance points (19-5) and in bench points (19-13). Foster continues to pace the club in the scoring column, as he nets 13.9 ppg despite shooting just 39.2 percent from the floor. Thomas Gipson (11.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Southwell (11.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg) have been consistent contributors as well for a team that is putting up only 67.5 ppg, but allows just 60.1 ppg -- that latter figure putting the 'Cats in a three- way tie for 11th place on the national charts.
Staten is playing as well as anyone right now, but he can't do all the heavy lifting alone. Expect the Mountaineers to put their best foot forward, but for them to be turned away just the same as the Wildcats continue their quest for a possible Big 12 title.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 72, West Virginia 63
01/18 10:16:52 ET