MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Jayhawk defense limited the Mountaineers to just one field goal over the final nine minutes of regulation as No. 3 Kansas closed the game on an 18-3 run to complete a 58-49 come-from-behind victory over No. 14 West Virginia Wednesday night inside WVU Arena. Sophomore Devon Dotson led all scorers with 15 points as the Jayhawks claimed their ninth-straight win.
The Jayhawks moved to 21-3 on the year and 10-1 in Big 12 play. West Virginia fell to 18-6 in its 2019-20 campaign and 6-5 in league play.
MOMENT OF THE GAME
With 8:23 remaining in the game, senior Isaiah Moss connected on his second of three 3-pointers on the night to cut the Mountaineer lead to 46-43. That shot marked the first three points of an 18-3 game-closing run that saw the Jayhawks sprint to the finish, with Moss netting nine points during the stretch. The KU defense was impregnable, forcing nine WVU turnovers in that span and a pair of blocks off the hands of Udoka Azubuike as KU closed out its seventh-straight road win. West Virginia went 1-of-12 from the field over the final nine minutes.
STAT OF THE GAME
27.6% – The KU defense held West Virginia to just 27.5% shooting in the second half of action. It marked the 10th time this season and the fifth time in Big 12 play that a KU opponent has shot 30% or worse in a half. This stingy defensive effort in the final frame helped KU overcome a nine-point deficit, its largest deficit erased this season and the biggest comeback in a road game since the Jayhawks posted a 16-point comeback against WVU two seasons ago in Morgantown.
Both of this season’s KU-WVU meetings had the same halftime score, with West Virginia on top 30-24 at the break. KU went on to win both games.
Wednesday marked the eighth time in KU’s last 14 meetings with West Virginia that the Jayhawks trailed by nine or more points. Kansas has come back to win six of those eighth contests, including today’s (trailed by nine in both the first and second halves).
The win gave the Jayhawks 10 conference wins for the 26th-consecutive season, a streak which dates back to 1995.
The victory also marked the second-straight game the Jayhawks have held their opponent to fewer than 50 points. Kansas last held back-to-back Big 12 opponents to under 50 in January of 2013, when KU held Texas Tech (46) and Baylor (44) below the half-century mark.
Over the final nine minutes of regulation, the KU defense limited WVU to just one field goal. During those final nine minutes, the Jayhawks outscored the home team by a tally of 18-3.
Kansas has now held 15 of its 24 opponents this season to below 40% shooting after the Mountaineers went 31.7% (19-of-60) for the day.
KU held WVU to 27.6% (8-29) shooting in the first half. It marked the 10th time this season and the fifth time in Big 12 play that a KU opponent has shot 30% or worse in a half.
Kansas’ 13 steals were their most in a Big 12 game this season.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“We kind of hung in there and then they hit a dry spell when we guarded really well during that time. We didn’t play great, but we made a couple shots and made free throws, and the next thing you know, you’re up five or seven.”
Kansas will return to Lawrence to play host to the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, Feb. 15. Tipoff from Allen Fieldhouse is slated for 11 a.m. (CT) on ESPN. Kansas is 149-68 all-time against OU, which includes a 66- 52 win in this season’s first meeting on Jan. 14 in Norman. The Jayhawks are 76-16 versus Oklahoma in games in Lawrence, which includes a 49-7 mark in contests inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has won 18-straight against OU in Lawrence, a streak which began in 1994.