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West Virginia upset bid falls short

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Mountaineers last-second shot blocked in 65-64 loss to Kansas State

No. 18 Kansas State squeaked by the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon with a 65-64 win. Led by senior guard Rodney McGruder’s 17 points and 6 rebounds, the Wildcats improved to 13-2 and 2-0 in the Big 12.

West Virginia failed to carry over the momentum from Wednesday night's overtime win against Texas and, despite have three players in double figures, the Mountaineers dropped to 8-7 and 1-2 in Big 12 play.

In a close game throughout where Kansas State led virtually the entire first half, West Virginia just wouldn’t go away. The Mountaineers never trailed by more than five in the first half.

The second half was the same story for both of these teams, and with 14:29 left, McGruder hit a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats up 7, their biggest lead of the game. A 9-3 run capped by a Jabarie Hinds 3-pointer, the Mountaineers tied it up at 50 with 10:59 to go.

The teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the game and after an athletic baseline jumper by Eron Harris, the Mountaineers led by one, 64-63. However with :21 seconds left, Dominique Rutledge fouled Shane Southwell, who swished both of his free throws for two of his 17 points. These free throws would put the Wildcats up for good, as West Virginia couldn’t capitalize on an inbounds play.

With nine seconds left Angel Rodriquez broke up the inbounds play and West Virginia was forced to chuck up a prayer layup that Southwell blocked as time expired.

West Virginia goes to Iowa State Jan, 16 and will look to avoid dropping two in a row for the third time this season.

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