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Kansas 83, West Virginia 69

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points and Kansas’ stable of forwards pummeled West Virginia’s interior defense in an 83-69 victory on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Wayne Selden finished with 17 points, Joel Embiid collected 11 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Tarik Black chipped in 11 points off the bench as the No. 8 Jayhawks improved to 18-5, and 9-1 atop the Big 12 conference.

Juwan Staten scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Mountaineers (14-10, 6-5), who kept things close in the first half and lingered in the second until the Jayhawks buried them with a 12-1 run with under four minutes to play.

After Eron Harris’ two free throws cut Kansas’ lead to 69-65, Wiggins hit two free throws, Embiid hit two freebies and slammed in a lob from Naadir Tharpe.

After a West Virginia turnover, Tharpe hit a 3-pointer that brought the 16,300 fans to their feet and all but squashed any chance of a comeback.

Harris added 17 points for West Virginia, which shot only 6-for-23 from 3-point range (26.1 percent) and had little answer for Kansas down low.

When the Jayhawks, who finished with 46 points in the paint, weren’t scoring at will on the block, they were forcing the Mountaineers to foul.

Kansas sank 23-of-34 free throws and had West Virginia, which committed 26 fouls, in foul trouble for the majority of the game.

During the opening half, Kansas racked up layup after layup en route to scoring up 30 points in the paint. Black, Ellis and Jamari Traylor did the brunt of the damage inside early, combining for 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting.

Wiggins and Selden each poured in 10 first-half points for the Jayhawks, who withstood two fouls to five players, including four starters.

Harris carried West Virginia early, and splashed in three straight 3-pointers to give the Mountaineers a 20-17 lead at the 11:33 mark.

West Virginia eventually built a 30-27 lead, its largest of the game, only to have the Jayhawks close the half with a 15-6 run, punctuated with Wiggins’ put-back dunk as time expired.

NOTES: West Virginia coach Bob Huggins fell to 0-7 all-time against Kansas (0-3 with Kansas State, 0-1 with Cincinnati, 0-3 with West Virginia), while the Mountaineers dropped to 0-3 in the all-time series against the Jayhawks. … Members of Kansas’ 1974 Final Four team were honored during the game, including coach Ted Owens. … Kansas coach Bill Self improved to 171-9 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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