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Kansas State defeats West Virginia 78-56

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm •  Published: January 18, 2014

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Bob Huggins has heard the praise toward Kansas State's defense, but after seeing the Wildcats firsthand he sees both ends of the floor as a solid product.

Shane Southwell and Thomas Gipson scored 20 points apiece and Marcus Foster added 15 as Kansas State beat West Virginia 78-56 on Saturday.

Kansas State turned in its second-best performance in assists with 22 on 28 made baskets.

"They came down and they got shots inside the last 10 seconds (of the shot clock) and everyone wants to talk about their defense, and their defense is good, don't get me wrong," Huggins said. "But offensively they make you work. They pass it, cut, pass it and cut."

Eron Harris had 21 points while Juwan Staten contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Mountaineers (10-8, 2-3 Big 12).

Kansas State's lockdown defense continues to blossom as the Wildcats limited West Virginia to 32.7 percent shooting (16 of 49).

The Mountaineers entered averaging 79.9 points per game while shooting just under 46 percent. The 22-point defeat was the largest loss of the season for the Mountaineers.

"We've even talked about it as a staff," Wildcats coach Bruce Weber said of his team's sound defense. "I think (associate head) Coach (Chris) Lowery even said that we might be better defensively than we were a year ago."

The game was Huggins' second trip back to Manhattan after spending one season at the helm of the Wildcats program during the 2006-2007 season.

Kansas State (14-4, 4-1) trailed for just 2:19 of the contest and led for the final 35 minutes.

The Wildcats shot 54.9 percent, their best percentage of the season, surpassing their previous high of 52.5 percent against TCU.

After two quick 3-pointers from Harris, the Wildcats answered the lone push of West Virginia by going on a 17-5 run and opening up a 20-13 lead with 8:43 left in the first half.

The Wildcats shot 58.3 percent from the field in the first half as well as going 5 of 10 from 3-point range.

"They really pass the ball, that's the best thing they do," Huggins said. "I think that's better than their defense. They really do pass the ball."

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