Mountaineers Get A Boost From The Bench In Their Big 12 Tournament Opening Against Kansas State

Bench sparks Mountaineers in Big 12 tournament opener against K-State

Image Source: WV Metronews

(THE CITY OF KANSAS CITY, MO.) — West Virginia defeated Kansas State 73-67 in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday, thanks primarily to 29 points from the bench.

“When you have two teams that are competing for their season, some of them are playing for their lives,” said West Virginia guard Taz Sherman. “When you have two teams that are playing for their season, some of them are playing for your life.” No one wants to go home, so it’s going to be a physically demanding and hard-fought game.

West Virginia (16-16) took a 16-10 lead in the first quarter on the strength of two Sean McNeil three-pointers and an Isaiah Cottrell slam off a no-look pass from McNeil, forcing a Wildcat timeout at the 12:26 mark. McNeil tallied 15 points in the first half to lead all WVU scorers with 21 points. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a three-pointer regularly fall,” McNeil said. “However, we approached this game as if it were the start of a new season, and that’s how I approached it as well, just cleaning out the areas where I was suffering.”
A run by Kansas State (14-17) cut the deficit to 31-30 at 3:22, but a pair of Pauly Paulicap free throws a minute later tilted the scales in favor of West Virginia, who went on to win the game by a score of 66-55.

The Wildcats could tie the game again at 55, but a Malik Curry dunk with 8:15 remaining in the game allowed the Mountaineers to extend their advantage to four points, 59-55, with 8:15 left to play. Curry ended with 17 points for West Virginia, marking his fifth game in a row in which he scored in double digits. According to Curry, “my coaches place me in the best conditions that are beneficial to me.” “Everyone knows that I am left-handed and that I like to go left. “However, they put me in new circumstances and need me to do different acts, which allows me to go downhill in a different manner.”

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The West Virginia advantage grew to 69-60 with 3:30 left in the game, but the Mountaineers missed the front end of a 1 and 1 from the line on back-to-back possessions, leaving the door open for Kansas State to come in. In the end, it was Taz Sherman’s block on Marquis Nowell’s three-point try with 13 seconds remaining that decided the game and the final score of 73-67. Sherman scored nine points on 4-of-11 shooting, a season-low for the Mountaineers’ best scorer heading into the game. “I had the impression that I was playing quite quickly in the first half,” Sherman remarked. After a few of terrible shots, including some ‘Taz shots,’ I was forced to start shooting ‘West Virginia shots.'”

West Virginia shot 53 percent from the floor during the victory, outrebounded Kansas State 33-28, and outscored their bench 29-5. The Wildcats were led by junior Nijel Pack’s 18 points and senior Mark Smith’s 17 points in the losing effort. As a result of their victory in the play-in game, West Virginia will face top-seeded Kansas on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET. When it comes to Kansas, head coach Bob Huggins has remarked, “We’ve had some fantastic games with them through the years.” In my opinion, Bill (Self) has put together one of his most excellent squads. THE CITY OF KANSAS CITY, MO.) — West Virginia defeated Kansas State 73-67 in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday, thanks in large part to 29 points from the bench.

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“When you have two teams that are competing for their season, some of them are playing for their lives,” said West Virginia guard Taz Sherman. “When you have two teams that are playing for their season, some of them are playing for your life.” No one wants to go home, so it’s going to be a physically demanding and hard-fought game.
West Virginia (16-16) took a 16-10 lead in the first quarter on the strength of two Sean McNeil three-pointers and an Isaiah Cottrell slam off a no-look pass from McNeil, forcing a Wildcat timeout at the 12:26 mark.

McNeil tallied 15 points in the first half to lead all WVU scorers with 21 points. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a three-pointer regularly fall,” McNeil said. “However, we approached this game as if it were the start of a new season, and that’s how I approached it as well, just cleaning out the areas where I was suffering.”
A run by Kansas State (14-17) cut the deficit to 31-30 at 3:22, but a pair of Pauly Paulicap free throws a minute later tilted the scales in favor of West Virginia, who went on to win the game by a score of 66-55. The Wildcats could tie the game again at 55, but a Malik Curry dunk with 8:15 remaining in the game allowed the Mountaineers to extend their advantage to four points, 59-55, with 8:15 left to play.

Curry ended with 17 points for West Virginia, marking his fifth game in a row in which he scored in double digits. According to Curry, “my coaches place me in the best conditions that are beneficial to me.” “Everyone knows that I am left-handed and that I like to go left. “However, they put me in new circumstances and need me to do different acts, which allows me to go downhill in a different manner.”The West Virginia advantage grew to 69-60 with 3:30 left in the game, but the Mountaineers missed the front end of a 1 and 1 from the line on back-to-back possessions, leaving the door open for Kansas State to come in. In the end, it was Taz Sherman’s block on Marquis Nowell’s three-point try with 13 seconds remaining that decided the game and the final score of 73-67. Sherman scored nine points on 4-of-11 shooting, a season-low for the Mountaineers’ best scorer heading into the game.

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“I had the impression that I was playing quite quickly in the first half,” Sherman remarked. After a few of terrible shots, including some ‘Taz shots,’ I was forced to start shooting ‘West Virginia shots.'” West Virginia shot 53 percent from the floor during the victory, outrebounded Kansas State 33-28, and outscored their bench 29-5. The Wildcats were led by junior Nijel Pack’s 18 points and senior Mark Smith’s 17 points in the losing effort.

As a result of their victory in the play-in game, West Virginia will face top-seeded Kansas on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET. When it comes to Kansas, head coach Bob Huggins has remarked, “We’ve had some fantastic games with them through the years.” In my opinion, Bill (Self) has put together one of his most excellent squads.

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