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NCAAB: Big second half from Sean McNeil paces West Virginia past Kansas State

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Sean McNeil scored a career-high 26 points as West Virginia defeated Kansas State 71-68 Saturday afternoon in Morgantown, W.Va. McNeil had 19 points in the second half, as the Mountaineers outscored K-State 44-28 after intermission.

West Virginia (12-2, 1-1 Big 12) got 14 points from Taz Sherman and 11 from Kedrian Johnson. Gabe Osabuohien grabbed 12 rebounds.

K-State (8-6, 0-3) had only eight scholarship players–and one coach–available, but the Wildcats did have their top five leading scorers. Assistant coach Jermaine Henderson was the lone coach on the sideline, with head coach Bruce Weber and assistants Chris Lowery and Shane Southwell out due to COVID-19 protocol.

K-State was led by Nijel Pack with 20 points. Mark Smith had 14 points, Ish Massoud had 13 and Markquis Nowell had 10 points and 10 assists.

West Virginia used an 8-0 run early in the second half to trim the lead to 42-37. When McNeil hit a 3-pointer from the corner, K-State’s lead was just 44-42. K-State kept the lead for a little while, but a put-back by McNeil tied it at 50-all with 9:09 left in the half.

After the teams traded buckets, West Virginia went on an 8-0 run to grab the lead for good. K-State got to within 2 points on several occasions, but never could regain the lead.

Massoud hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 5.7 seconds left to cut it to 69-68, but Jalen Bridges hit both free throws and Nowell missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

K-State raced out to an 18-4 lead in the first half with a 12-0 run. The biggest lead of the half was 17 points, but a 6-0 run allowed West Virginia to cut it inside 10 with 8:24 left in the half, though K-State took a 40-27 lead into halftime.

The Wildcats were 9-of-19 from 3-point range in the first half.

Smith led the Wildcats with 10 points, including three 3-point makes. Pack had 9 first-half points, hitting three 3-pointers. Nowell nearly had a double-double in the first half with 8 points and 8 assists.

Sherman led the Mountaineers with 8 points, but he missed all three of his 3-point shots.

–Field Level Media

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