Jan 26, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Travis Releford (24) dunks the ball over Oklahoma Sooners guard Steven Pledger (2) during the first half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Instant Reaction:Win Streak Hits 18 as Kansas Defeats West Virginia, 61-56

On Monday night, the West Virginia Mountaineers gave it their all vs second-ranked Kansas Jayhawks, falling just short,61-56 . With the win, Kansas improved to 19-1 overall and 7-0 in Big 12 conference play. West Virginia fell to 9-11 and 2-5 overall.

Three Jayhawks scored in double figures with Jeff Withey, and Travis Releford each scoring 15 points, and Ben McLemore adding 13. Withey added seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Aaric Murray led West Virginia with 17 points and seven rebounds, Juwan Staten added 14.

Kansas for the game shot 54% from the field, connecting on 20-37 shots from the field. The Jayhawks struggled from the free throw line, allowing West Virginia back into the game, hitting just 18-34 attempts. West Virginia shot 37% for the game, hitting 20-54 attempts.

Kansas jumped on West Virginia right from the start, blitzing to a 10-2 lead ,even pushing the margin to 16-4 before the Mountaineers woke up. After Releford scored on a lay-up, Kansas held a 29-14 lead. West Virginia then began battling back, cutting the lead to eight after Murray hit a three-pointer at 33-25. Kansas still held onto a 38-30 at halftime.

The second half saw West Virginia open it on a 14-4 run, trimming the Jayhawks lead to 44-42 after Staten made a lay-up. West Virginia failed to take the lead though, and after Releford hit a three-pointer the lead was up to nine at 55-46 with 7:35 left. Neither team managed to score much the rest of the way.

Next up for Kansas is Oklahoma State on Saturday in Lawrence. The Cowboys are 13-5 on the season, and 4-4 in Big 12 conference play. Oklahoma State faces Iowa State on Wednesday.

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Tags: Kansas Jayhawks West Virginia Mountaineers

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