- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 12, 2016

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A snowstorm and traffic gridlock prevented top-ranked Kansas from arriving at the arena until an hour before playing West Virginia.

It didn’t get any easier for the Jayhawks on the court.

Kansas became the latest No. 1 team to fall this season, committing a season-high 22 turnovers in a 74-63 loss to No. 11 West Virginia on Tuesday night.

“We couldn’t get stops,” said Perry Ellis, who led the Jayhawks with 21 points. “They were getting anything they wanted driving down the lanes and that really hurt us. It shows we definitely have a lot to work on and I feel like we can get better and learn from this.”

Since beating No. 2 Oklahoma 109-106 in triple overtime a week ago, Kansas hasn’t broken 70 points in two games.



“The game in a nutshell is that they were so much more aggressive and quicker,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “They were way more athletic than we were and played above the rim. We didn’t do any of that.”

Kansas (14-2, 3-1 Big 12) shot 42 percent from the field and was held to its lowest point total of the season.

“They’re great at what they do,” Ellis said. “They were all over the place and we definitely give them credit.”

The Jayhawks joined North Carolina, Kentucky and Michigan State as No. 1 teams to lose this season.

Jaysean Paige scored 26 points and Devin Williams had 17 points and 12 rebounds for West Virginia (15-1, 4-0). The Mountaineers haven’t started a season this well since 1982, when it won 24 of its first 25 games.

West Virginia fans stormed the court and sang John Denver’s “Country Roads” after the Mountaineers’ first win over a top-ranked team in 33 years.

Williams had his seventh double-double of the season but the first over a span of seven games.

“Just a team effort, man,” Williams said. “Whatever and whoever, as long as we get team effort, there’s no one in the country who can stop us.”

An emphasis on driving the ball to the basket paid off for the Mountaineers, who outscored Kansas 33-13 from the free throw line.

“I thought it gave us the best chance to win,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “We tried to kind of revamp some things and keep them spread to try to be able to get guys to the basket.”

West Virginia opened a 39-27 halftime lead. Ellis scored 10 of the Jayhawks’ first 15 points of the second half, including a dunk at the midway point to cut the deficit to 50-44. But Kansas went more than 4 minutes between baskets and could get no closer.

West Virginia didn’t need to be stellar from the field - the Mountaineers shot just 33 percent (19 of 57) and made just one field goal over the final 5 minutes. But they made up for that from the line, where they entered the game shooting 66 percent.

West Virginia went 12 of 16 from the line down the stretch. Williams kept hitting free throws and kept grabbing missed shots.

He got plenty of help from Paige, who made 14 of 17 free throws for the game.

TIP-INS

Kansas: The Jayhawks dropped their third straight to the Mountaineers in Morgantown. Last year, Ellis caught a long pass and missed a layup off the back of the rim just before the final buzzer, and the Jayhawks lost 62-61. In 2014, Andrew Wiggins returned to the state where he played prep school. The freshman led a furious comeback with 41 points, but the Jayhawks couldn’t make up a 25-point deficit and lost 92-86.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers improved to 4-7 all-time against top-ranked teams. The previous time they did it was against UNLV in February 1983. … Guard Daxter Miles Jr. returned to the starting lineup after missing the first game of his career with an ankle sprain. … West Virginia’s bench outscored Kansas’ 40-10.

UP THE CHARTS

With his 780th career win, Huggins moved past Lou Henson for 11th place all time. Huggins is 780-313 overall in his 34th season of coaching.

UP NEXT

Kansas: Hosts TCU on Saturday.

West Virginia: Is at No. 2 Oklahoma on Saturday.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide