No. 3 Kansas cruises past West Virginia

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Playing without coach Bill Self, No. 3 Kansas got a double-double from Big 12 Player of the Year Jalen Wilson on Thursday as it stopped West Virginia 78-61 in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

Wilson finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season, leading the top-seeded Jayhawks (26-6) into the semifinals on Friday night against Iowa State. Gradey Dick added 18 points, while Dajuan Harris chipped in 13 points and dished out eight assists. KJ Adams tallied 13 points for Kansas.

Erik Stevenson scored 13 points to lead four players in double figures for eighth-seeded West Virginia (19-14). Joe Toussaint and Tre Mitchell added 11 each, while Emmitt Matthews Jr. contributed 10 points. The Mountaineers are still expected to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night.

Kansas pulled away in the second half with superior shooting. It made 20 of 30 from the field, including 5 of 11 from the 3-point line, and finished the day at 52.4 percent from the field. The Jayhawks also enjoyed advantages of 52-36 in paint points and 16-2 in points off offensive rebounds.

Kansas announced Thursday morning that coach Bill Self would miss the game because of illness. Assistant coach Norm Roberts, who ran the team for the season’s first four games while Self served a suspension, served as the interim coach.

Roberts oversaw a defensive effort that turned West Virginia over a whopping 11 times in the first half, turning those into 11 points. The Jayhawks fell behind 14-11 after scoring just two points in a 5:40 stretch, but rattled off 14 straight points to take a 25-14 advantage at the 5:20 mark on Harris’ transition layup.

The Mountaineers crawled back within six on two foul shots by Toussaint with 1:09 left, but Harris’ putback allowed Kansas to take a 31-23 lead to halftime.

Another big factor in the half was the Jayhawks’ 13-2 advantage in second chance points.

–Field Level Media

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Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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