Backed by a 50 percent second half shooting performance, West Virginia avenged its Jan. 5 home loss to Kansas by defeating the Jayhawks, 72-56, Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Mountaineers converted on 15 of 30 shots from the field after halftime, using a 21-6 run over a nine-minute stretch in the second half to pull away. Kansas was out-rebounded by West Virginia, 45-34, and finished the game only 36.8 percent from the field.
Neither team led by more than six points during the first 30 minutes of the contest, but the outcome-deciding run extended West Virginia’s lead to 17 with two minutes to play. The game featured 15 lead changes and six ties before the Mountaineers took over late in the second half.
Kansas senior Carolyn Davis passed former Jayhawk Crystal Kemp for eighth place on the program’s all-time scoring list with her layup at the 6:20 mark in the first half. She finished with a team-high 14 points, all of which came in the opening period.
Davis’ 11 rebounds also gave her the 19th double-double of her career. Sophomore Chelsea Gardner added 11 points for the Jayhawks, who finished a season-low 9.5 percent (2-for-21) from beyond the three-point arc.
Kansas came out firing early, grabbing a 6-0 lead to start the game before West Virginia responded with seven consecutive points to take its first lead 4:40 into the first half. Both teams traded baskets for much of the next 15 minutes, as each finished the half just over 38 percent from the field.
Both teams seemed to pick up where they left off after the previous battle in Morgantown, when Kansas defeated West Virginia, 60-59, in the Jayhawks’ first road game of conference play. The Mountaineers led by one at halftime of that contest.
Ayana Dunning led West Virginia in Saturday’s contest, scoring a game-high 17 points in addition to her nine rebounds. Christal Caldwell added 15, but the Jayhawks held Taylor Palmer scoreless after she finished with 24 points in last month’s match-up.
UP NEXT: Kansas will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday for its first meeting with TCU in conference play. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.