Junior Mountaineers guard Jermaine Haley was not only perfect against Kansas on the stats sheet—he shot 5-for-5 from the field for 13 points—he was perfect when his team needed him most. Haley hit the go-ahead layup over tough a Jayhawks defense with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation to give West Virginia a 65-64 lead. Despite putting up two shots in the final seconds of the game, Kansas was unable to prevent the upset on the road and the home crowd rushed the court in excitement.
The Mountaineers snapped a five-game losing streak in conference play with this win over the top team in the Big 12. They entered Saturday’s game just four days removed from a 31-point shellacking at the hands of TCU. While this time might look like a far cry from the teams Bob Huggins has previously coached all the way to the national tournament, they certainly stepped up and played with certain elements of those past teams against the Jayhawks.
West Virginia played hard-nosed defense that resulted in 13 first-half turnovers for Kansas—the Jayhawks would finish with 18 in total. That plan of attack prevented Kansas from building any sort of lead that could even be remotely considered insurmountable. Of course, the only reason the Jayhawks were able to regularly stay in the lead was because the Mountaineers’ offense for most of the game was nowhere to be found to take advantage of those turnovers. This dynamic resulted in a 23-23 halftime score (gross!). It wasn’t until Kansas was up six points with less than three minutes remaining in regulation that West Virginia started to find any sort of fluidity on offense, and it resulted in a 7-0 run that ultimately won them the game.