KANSAS CITY, Mo.–Malik Newman scored 20 points and No. 1-seeded Kansas defeated third-seeded West Virginia 81-70 on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship.
It was the third consecutive year the Mountaineers (24-10, 11-7 Big 12) fell in the championship game.
The Jayhawks (27-7, 14-5) won their 11th Big 12 tournament championship.
Devonte’ Graham tallied 18 points. Svi Mykhailiuk and Silvio De Sousa each added 16 points. Lagerald Vick had 10 for Kansas.
“They shot 72 percent the second half,” head coach Bob Huggins said. “They shot 56 for the game. They shot 56 from 3. They’re going to beat everybody when they do that. They were contested shots. We didn’t give them wide-open shots. They were contested. They made them.”
Daxter Miles Jr. scored 25 points. Sagaba Konate chipped in 18 points and Jevon Carter added 17.
The Mountaineers outrebounded the Jayhawks 37-27.
WVU and Kansas exchanged baskets much of the first half. Carter drained a 3 to put the Mountaineers up 34-31 with 53 seconds left.
De Sousa’s monstrous alley-oop dunk in transition from Graham pulled the Jayhawks within one, 34-33, at the end of the first half.
WVU and Kansas exchanged runs much of the second half, battling back-and-forth. However, the Jayhawks put together a 17-3 run to take control.
Graham couldn’t miss in the second half and his 3-pointer from the wing put Kansas in front 73-66 with 3:57 to play, forcing the Mountaineers to call timeout.
With 2:58 left, Carter swished two free throws to pull WVU within six but that was as close as the Mountaineers would get.
“They did a real good job of knocking down shots,” Carter said. “Every shot they put up went in and when we went cold they kept hitting and that’s when they went out and got the lead.”
WVU shot 40 percent from the floor, 33 percent from beyond the arc and made 10-of-10 from the charity stripe.
The Jayhawks shot 56 percent from the floor, 56 percent from beyond the arc and made 4-of-8 from the free throw line.
Carter and Miles were named All-Tournament Team selections for the Mountaineers.
Graham and Newman were All-Tournament Team selections for Kansas. Newman was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
Both WVU and the Jayhawks will find out where they will play in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday.
Cover Photo Credit: Ashley O’Brien, BGS