WICHITA, Kan. (AP)—West Virginia coach Bob Huggins knew exactly how he wanted a key play to go near the end of regulation. Kansas State coach Frank Martin said he should have known what his mentor was planning to do.
Kevin Jones hit a tying baseline 3-pointer to force overtime and had 30 points and 12 rebounds in West Virginia’s 85-80 double-overtime victory Thursday night over Kansas State.
“That’s absolutely the shot we wanted,” Huggins said of Jones’ jumper with 13.3 seconds left. “I thought KJ had it going pretty good.”
Darryl Bryant had 25 points for West Virginia (5-2). Deniz Kilicli added 12 points.
Rodney McGruder scored 20 for Kansas State (5-1), while Will Spradling had 16 points and Thomas Gipson added 15.
The game between the future Big 12 foes on a neutral court—the crowd heavily favoring Kansas State—in Wichita brought together Huggins and Martin. Martin took over at K-State when Huggins left for the Mountaineers job in 2007.
The matchup was originally part of a two-game series but West Virginia is set to leave the Big East, perhaps as soon as next year.
There were 17 ties and nine lead changes between the teams that mirrored each other.
“We don’t generally play against people who play as hard as we do,” Huggins said.
After West Virginia’s Aaron Brown hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 50.9 seconds remaining in the first overtime, K-State rallied and McGruder lofted in a floater with 6.2 seconds on the clock, leading to a second overtime.
Each team scored on its first three possessions of the second extra period, and the score was tied going into the final minute. The Mountaineers went back to Jones in the post, and his baby hook with 26.6 seconds left gave West Virginia the lead for good at 82-80.
Jones had most of his impact in the interior.
“I was just trying to post as much as possible, use my size,” Jones said.
McGruder tried to answer with a jumper on the other end that rimmed out. Trailing by three 8 seconds later, McGruder missed a 3-point attempt.
“It was an awesome atmosphere here,” Martin said. “I’m disappointed we let out fans down.”
Spradling scored five straight points to open the second half as Kansas State turned a one-point lead at the break into a 41-34 advantage with 17:22 remaining.
But the Mountaineers looked inside to keep it close. Bruising forward Kilicli scored eight of his 12 points in a four-minute span, and Bryant made two free throws that pulled West Virginia to 48-46 with 12:48 to go.
The Mountaineers took their first lead of the second half with 4:19 remaining, when Jones converted a three-point play from the post.
That lead didn’t last long as McGruder sank a long jumper and Angel Rodriguez converted a turnover into a layup during a 25-second span, putting the Wildcats ahead 61-57.
After two free throws by Bryant, Jones posted up for another easy basket, giving the Mountaineers a 61-60 edge with 2:22 to play.
A free throw each by Jordan Henriquez and Rodriguez gave the Wildcats a 62-61 lead with 1:05 remaining. The Mountaineers turned the ball over and Gipson putback a rebound for a 64-61 lead with 22 seconds to play.
But Jones made his jumper with 13.3 seconds remaining to tie it. K-State did not call a time-out and managed only a desperation jumper by McGruder and a tip attempt by Henriquez before the buzzer sounded to end regulation.