Kansas State rings in new year with No. 7 WVU (Jan 01, 2018)
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- In the Big 12 Conference, where road victories are hard to find, four of the five teams won on the road on the conference season-opening weekend. Included in that group are No. 7 West Virginia and Kansas State. The Mountaineers won 85-79 at Oklahoma State and K-State won 91-75 at Iowa State.
They will square off in a New Year's Day matinee looking for a very early lead in the conference race.
"To win road games you have to have somebody step up and be special," said Kansas State coach Bruce Weber, who saw junior Dean Wade score a career-high 34 points against the Cyclones. "(Wade) was huge. (He) shot it with confidence; played with confidence; wanted the ball and asked out when he got tired."
The Big 12 is loaded, and there are no easy victories. Six of the 10 teams in the Big 12 are ranked, and eight received votes in the latest AP poll. Only K-State and Iowa State did not receive votes. A victory over the Mountaineers would certainly draw some attention for the Wildcats (11-2, 1-0).
But they'll have to spread around their scoring a little bit better than they did against the Cyclones. Seventy-eight of K-State's 91 points came from just three players. In addition to Wade's 34, Kamau Stokes scored 23 and Barry Brown added 21.
"Cam and Barry were pretty special, too," Weber said. "The three guys that have the experience made the plays."
West Virginia (12-1, 1-0) does a much better job of sharing the scoring load. Freshman Teddy Allen came off the bench to lead six double-figure scorers with 15 points, 13 of those coming in the second half. Sagaba Kanate also played a strong second half and finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles contributed 12 each, but Carter made just 2-of-10 field goal attempts and had a career-high eight turnovers.
"Teddy did a good job," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "He made some good cuts and good reads. (Carter) didn't play very well, but the first thing he said when he (got) into the locker room was, 'I didn't play very well and I'm sorry, but we won and I'm happy.' That's rhetoric for some people but he means it. He's a guy that loves to win."
Winning is what West Virginia has done a lot recently in this series, taking seven of the last eight contests. The Mountaineers own an 8-5 advantage in the all-time series, including 7-4 in Big 12 play.
After losing their season-opener against Texas A&M in the Armed Forces Classic in Ramstein, Germany, the Mountaineers have won 12 straight games.
Huggins, who moved past Jim Phelan into seventh place in all-time Division I coaching victories with 831, coached at Kansas State for one season (2006-07). He was 23-12, including 10-6 in the Big 12, and led the Wildcats to the NIT, the first post-season berth in eight years.