MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Jevon Carter was pretty excited to exact revenge against Kansas State.
“Revenge was a factor,” he said. “That’s what the Big 12’s all about. You get to play everybody twice. If you lose, you get a chance at redemption.”
His 19 points and nine rebounds led No. 13 West Virginia in a foul-plagued 85-66 victory over the Wildcats on Saturday.
West Virginia (20-5, 8-4) struggled at the start making two of its first eight shots over the first 4 minutes. James “Beetle” Bolden then led the Mountaineers on a 12-1 scoring run to take the lead.
Kansas State rallied to tie the game at 34 at halftime.
After a 3-pointer by Xavier Sneed early in the second half, the Wildcats (16-9, 5-7) went on a cold snap from the field that lasted over 6 minutes. West Virginia capitalized and held a 13-point lead midway through the second half.
Kansas State never recovered.
Fouls dominated the game, as 54 were called throughout the game although no player fouled out.
“The reason officials don’t come in and do a press conference like the coaches do is because they are independent contractors,” West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins said. “I think it would be a great move on the NCAA’s part to bring them in house.”
Nathan Adrian added 11 points for West Virginia and Bolden finished with nine.
Wesley Iwundu led five Wildcats in double figures with 14 points.
“We didn’t always make the right pass,” Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber said. “We didn’t always make the right play, and we missed open shots. The way they play, you have to jump up and make open shots. We had open shots and just didn’t make them.”
DJ Johnson did not play for Kansas State due to an ankle injury suffered late in their loss to No. 3 Kansas on Monday.
The NCAA Tournament selection committee announced that West Virginia was the 14th overall seed in their bracket preview. The Mountaineers would be a 4 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today. The SAP Center in San Jose, California is hosting the West Region on March 23 and 25.
BURSTING THE BUBBLE
Kansas State does not have any more games against teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 remaining on their schedule. With tough games against Iowa State, Oklahoma State and TCU looming, it is unlikely the Wildcats can escape the bubble before the Big 12 Tournament in March.
“It’s disappointing,” Weber said, “but you have to get ready for the next one.”
Along with their lackluster win at Oklahoma on Wednesday, expect West Virginia to possibly enter the top 10 when the AP Poll is released Monday.
Kansas State hosts Iowa State on Wednesday night.
West Virginia travels to take on No. 3 Kansas on Monday night.
More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.