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West Virginia loses to No. 8 Kansas, 83-69

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 8, 2014 at 6:37 pm •  Published: February 8, 2014

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — With about 5 minutes remaining Saturday, West Virginia trailed No. 8 Kansas by four points, and Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins said later his team had the game right where it wanted it.

Then the Jayhawks scored seven points in a little over a minute, part of a game-ending 14-4 run that resulted in an 83-69 victory that kept Huggins winless in seven tries against Kansas.

"We just had some guys didn't play very well, which happens," said Huggins, whose stretch of futility has come with three different schools. "We just didn't make any open shots."

Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points, Wayne Selden Jr. had 17 and reserve Tarik Black added 11 points for the Jayhawks (18-5, 9-1 Big 12), who honored the 40th anniversary of their 1974 Final Four team by taking a two-game lead over surprising Texas in the conference race.

Juwan Staten scored 22 points and Harris had 17 for West Virginia, which dealt with foul trouble nearly the entire game. At one point, the Mountaineers had five players with four fouls apiece, and Brandon Watkins and Devin Williams eventually fouled out.

"The hard part about not having depth is we have to play Staten so long, we have to play Harris so long," Huggins said. "I don't think it affects us in this game, but it may affect us on Monday (against Iowa State)."

Still, the Mountaineers hung around until late in the game.

They closed within 69-65 on two free throws by Harris, who briefly left after turning his ankle earlier in the game. Another free throw by Staten a few minutes later got them within 72-66 with 3:49 to go, silencing another packed crowd at Allen Fieldhouse.

That's when Joel Embiid, the Jayhawks' talented 7-foot freshman, scored in the paint. Naadir Tharpe drained a 3-pointer on their next trip down the court, and Selden sliced into the lane for a layup that made it 77-66 and forced Huggins to call a timeout.

Just like that, a nip-and-tuck game began turning into a blowout with the Jayhawks enjoying a comfortable cushion over the final 3 minutes.

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