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Kansas pulls away from West Virginia late, keeps Mountaineers winless in Lawrence

| Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, 8:45 p.m.
Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (left) and West Virginia guard Jevon Carter dive for a loose ball during the first half.
Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (left) and West Virginia guard Jevon Carter dive for a loose ball during the first half.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Udoka Azubuike scored 21 points, and Devonte' Graham added 15 to help No. 13 Kansas beat No. 20 West Virginia, 77-69, on Saturday night.

Both teams struggled to create much separation in the first half, neither establishing more than a six-point lead. After the score was tied at halftime, the Mountaineers (19-8, 8-6 Big 12) took the lead with 17 minutes, 22 seconds left and held it until the score was tied again at 66-66 with about two minutes remaining. The Jayhawks (20-7, 10-4 Big 12) wouldn't reclaim the lead until Svi Mykhailiuk hit a pair of free throws 30 seconds later.

Daxter Miles Jr. led West Virginia with 22 points and hit 6 of 9 shots from 3-point range. Jevon Carter added 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

The Mountaineers stayed close by hitting 14 of 26 3-point attempts. Meanwhile, Kansas had an off night shooting the ball from deep, hitting just 31.8 percent of their tries. The Jayhawks led the Big 12 and were No. 19 in the country in 3s per game heading in.

The Mountaineers had won 74 of their last 76 games when holding opponents to 69 points or less.

West Virginia has yet to win in Allen Fieldhouse, falling to 0-6 in the building. It has wins in every other Big 12 arena since joining the conference in 2012 but hasn't found the formula for doing so in Lawrence.

Kansas earned a much-needed home win after struggling to do so at times throughout the season. The Jayhawks are one game back of Texas Tech, which they will face on the road a week from Saturday.

West Virginia is in danger of falling out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in 50 weeks, dating to 2015. The Mountaineers are three games behind Texas Tech and is tied with Kansas State for third.

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