A Tale of Two Halves

MORGANTOWN, WV—The West Virginia Mountaineers(5-10 ,0-2 Big 12) lost its third straight at the hands of visiting Kansas State (12-3, 2-0 Big 12) at the WVU Coliseum, 81-67 Tuesday night. WVU had a slim 42-40 lead at the half but struggled defending the paint against the Wildcats. KSU scored 44 points in the paint. The Wildcats took the rebounding battle 35-22.

“For the most part, K-State’s defensive buy-in in the second half was impressive,” WVU Coach Josh Eilert said. “They turned the page and they really got after us in the second half and took us out of everything we were trying to do.” he added.

RaeQuan Battle scored 12 points in the first seven minutes and finished with 21 points on 5 of 13 shooting. It was also the first time playing against K-State since the first round of the 2023 NCAA tourney where he finished with 27 points for Montana State. Noah Farrakhan and Kerr Kriisa scored 11 each for WVU which shot 39.2 percent from the floor for the game.

“The ball is just sticking too long, and people rotate on you and cover everything up,” Eilert explained of WVU’s offensive difficulties. “Even the way they were handling  ball screens, we should have had short roll after roll, got out of there and had an advantage.”

WVU was still without Jesse Edwards for a fifth straight game. Edwards has been out with a fractured right wrist . He had successful surgery on December. 20. His recovery time was set at 4 weeks after surgery. 

The Mountaineers will take a few days off before facing No. 25 Texas on Saturday. They will tip off at 6 p.m.