WVU Knocks off Number 3 in the Nation!

MORGANTOWN, WV—The Jekyll and Hyde West Virginia Mountaineers continued to confuse competition this season thinking they can just show up and have an easy win, but No. 3 Kansas rolled out of the WVU Coliseum watching WVU take the contest with great 3 point shooting and clutch free throws to defeat the Jayhawks Saturday 91-85. 

“We had to step up to the plate and make free throws and we did today,” WVU Coach Josh Eilert said. “It’s special , I grew up in Kansas and my family is all Kansas State grads and the fact that the Jayhawks are just down the road, you are either a Kansas fan or a K-State fan,” Eilert added.

“I always respected them, and they’ve been incredible over the years, and the fact that I can shake hands with Bill Self after a win is going to go a long way for my confidence in terms of moving forward in coaching,” Eilert said. “I thought they were great (West Virginia); I thought that everyone on their team played exceptionally well, especially in the first half  offensively,” said Coach Self. The Jayhawks are now 5-7 in 12 games at the WVU Coliseum. “We couldn’t guard them , and we didn’t come prepared, I don’t think, to defend against guys who are really good shooters and can go get their own, such as (RaeQuan) Battle. So I thought they were terrific.” Self added.

Kansas just came off a 24 point victory over Oklahoma State on the road. The Jayhawks shot 53.8 percent from the floor outscoring the Mountaineers 44 to 26 in the paint and 16 to 8 in fast break points. However, WVU made 9 of 11 from 3 at one point in the first half and converted 21 of 25 from the free throw line, including 9 of 10 in the final 34 seconds of the game to pull off the big upset. The Mountaineers outrebounded the Jayhawks by nine.

“We couldn’t come into today’s game minus 12 or minus 15 on the glass and tonight against one of the best teams in the country, we were plus nine on the glass,” Eilert said. “That’s the type of effort we need each and every night to be competitive,” he added.

Battle led the Mountaineers with 23 points on 7 of 14 shooting. Pat Suemnick scored a career high 20 points against the Jayhawks’ 7 foot 2 center Hunter Dickinson.

Suemnick’s career high total came from the floor and 4 of 6 from the foul line. “He (Suemnick) just keeps giving us more and more and it’s so great to have, especially with Jesse (Edwards) coming back and not really having a backup five,” Eilert explained. “He’s done an incredible job for us filling that void and giving us a spark.”

Kansas is now (15-3, 3-2 Big 12). It was West Virginia’s first win against a top five team since knocking off Baylor 76-64 on March 7, 2020 at the Coliseum. Saturday’s 91 points were WVU’s best output since the 91-81 win over Toledo this season. Some 12,208 fans powered the Mountaineers to victory. The unpredictable Mountaineers head on the road Tuesday night to face UCF. UCF upset Kansas and also beat Texas.