Wild Monday night begins big week of conference play

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Photo Credit: Juan Figueroa | Daily Texan Staff

Kansas survives West Virginia in close battle

With three minutes remaining in the game, it seemed West Virginia would escape Allen Fieldhouse with a crucial road victory. Then, the unthinkable happened.

The Jayhawks produced one of the strongest comebacks of the season, overcoming a 14-point deficit in the final minutes to force overtime, eventually pulling away in the extra period to beat the Mountaineers 84-80.

West Virginia’s defense troubled Kansas early and allowed the Mountaineers to open up a 21-10 lead in the first half. Kansas responded quickly and retook the lead on a fast break layup from junior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.

But the Mountaineers closed the half on an 8-0 run, earning a 39-32 lead at the midway point after a three-pointer from junior guard Jevon Carter.

As the Jayhawks’ offense stalled, momentum shifted in West Virginia’s favor in the second half, giving the Mountaineers control of the game. A layup from senior Tarik Phillip sprung the Mountaineers to a 14-point lead with three minutes left.

The wheels came off for West Virginia down the stretch, turning the ball over on costly possessions to allow quick Kansas buckets.

A clutch three-point shot from junior Devonte’ Graham and a pair of free throws from senior Frank Mason III pushed the game to overtime where the Jayhawks seized all momentum, pulling away from the Mountaineers for the victory.

Both teams return to action on Saturday when Kansas (23–3, 11–2 Big 12) will travel to Waco to take on Baylor and West Virginia (20–6, 8–5) will host to Texas Tech.

 

Texas Tech knocks off Baylor

Big 12 opponents know by now that anything can happen in Lubbock, Texas. After narrowly missing on an upset bid against Kansas on Saturday afternoon, Texas Tech finally captured its marquee victory of the season, downing the fourth-ranked Bears 84-78 Monday night.

The Red Raiders came out firing on both ends, starting the game with an 11-0 run. The Bears responded shortly after with a run of their own to take a 36-32 lead entering halftime.

While Baylor opened the second half strong, leading by as many as nine points, Texas Tech crawled back with timely shots and free throws — a consistent problem for the Bears’ defense throughout the evening. The Red Raiders attempted 43 free throws compared to Baylor’s 25.

After regaining the lead at the 6:35 mark, Texas Tech never looked back, closing out the Bears down the stretch.

Red Raiders guard Keenan Evans led all scorers with 23 points.

Texas Tech (17–9, 5–8 Big 12) will travel to West Virginia on Saturday, while Baylor (22–4, 9–4 Big 12) will host Kansas in a battle of the Big 12’s top two teams.