College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 8, 2011
Kevin Jones scored 30 points, including a tying 3-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation that sent the game into its first overtime as West Virginia dealt the Kansas State wildcats their first loss of the season, in double OT, 85-80.
The nationally-televised (ESPN) basketball treat was one of the most closely-contested games of the season, with Bob Huggins' Mountaineers facing the Wildcats, coached by Frank Martin, a former assistant under Huggins at both Cincinnati and Kansas State.
Played at a suspect "neutral" court in Wichita, fan support was largely in favor of Kansas State. The two teams batted through 17 ties, nine lead changes and an extra ten minutes of play in the two overtime periods.
Jones, a 6'8" senior forward and the Wildcats' leading scorer at 21.8 points per game, popped a career high with his 30, breaking the mark he set just three weeks ago when he pumped in 29 points in a 97-62 win over Alcorn State. Getting 30 - even in 49 minutes of floor time - against an unbeaten opponent in unfriendly territory, was a defining achievement.
Hitting 12 of 17 shots, including two of three 3-pointers, Jones led all scorers and recorded his fifth double double of the season with 12 rebounds.
Darryl (Truck) Bryant, a senior guard from Brooklyn, knocked down 24 points for the Mountaineers. Rodney McGruder led the Kansas State scoring with 20 points.
The loss dropped Kansas State to 5-1. 5-2 West Virginia previously suffered losses against Kent State and Mississippi State.