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Defense leads No. 17 West Virginia over Kansas State

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Tarik Phillip scored 12 points and No. 17 West Virginia forced 25 turnovers to beat Kansas State 65-59 Tuesday in Morgantown.

The Mountaineers’ win puts WVU ahead of Kansas State in the Big 12 Conference standings.

Both teams shot under 30 percent in the first half of the game. WVU went over 11 minutes without hitting a field goal, going 0-6 during that span. Tarik Phillip scored 12 points to lead the Mountaineers and Jawan Staten added 11 points.

It was a sloppy win for the Mountaineers, who missed 8 free throws and shot 4-17 from the 3-point line.

K-State didn’t take advantage of one of WVU’s worse offensive games this season, however, turning the ball over 25 times and missing 15 free throws. Both teams finished the game only shooting 36 percent.

Kansas State’s Marcus Foster led all scorers with 15 points.

WVU only had 3 steals in the first half compared to their season average (12.3).

The Mountaineers have now moved into second place in the Big 12 standings behind first place Kansas. This win is the 10th road victory of the season for the Mountaineers, who improved to 17-3 (5-2 in Big 12) while K-State drops to 12-9 (5-3), fourth in the Big 12.

The Mountaineers will take on Texas Tech in Morgantown on Saturday.

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