WICHITA, Kan. -- West Virginia has pretty much made a living under Bob Huggins of making opponents look bad with hard-nosed defense. Kansas State coach Frank Martin is a Huggins disciple through and through.
Imagine, then, how bad each team might make the other look in a head-to-head matchup.
Well, imagine no more. It all went down Thursday night in front of a sellout crowd of 15,004 and an ESPN2 audience. And for the longest time it was just as ugly as anyone could imagine.
And then something rather amazing happened. The teams got into overtime and actually played like proficient offensive basketball teams. And when it was over, West Virginia had one of its best and most satisfying wins of the season.
After toiling through 40 minutes of awful free-throw shooting, turnovers, fouls and every other imaginable ill, West Virginia settled down in overtime and outlasted Kansas State, 85-80, in two of them.
The win gives the Mountaineers (5-2) at least some momentum heading into a quick turnaround. The Mountaineers have just one day to prepare for a 7 p.m. game Saturday at the Coliseum against Miami.
Kansas State (5-1), meanwhile, saw its unbeaten season finally end.
"That's just the way it's going to be,'' junior forward Deniz Kilicli said of the ugly nature of the game through most of the first 40 minutes. "We're only going to win games by fighting and doing the little things right. And finally we did those things.''
Kevin Jones, whose clutch 3-pointer near the end of regulation saved the Mountaineers by sending it to overtime, scored the basket that ultimately gave WVU the win and the two free throws that sealed it in the second extra period. He finished the game with a career-high 30 points to go along with 12 rebounds in 49 minutes.
Truck Bryant, playing all but a few seconds of the game, scored 24 points and Kilicli 12. Kilicli sat out long stretches in foul trouble and committed six turnovers, but he also had seven rebounds and kept WVU in the game early in the second half, when he scored 10 of his 12 points.
And freshman Aaron Brown hit a big 3-pointer in the first overtime and finished with 10 points.
Kansas State got 20 points from Rodney McGruder and a combined 31 from Will Spradling and Thomas Gipson. Spradling, though, fouled out in the second overtime and left K-State without a shooter when the Wildcats needed 3-pointers.
The win, which leaves Huggins just four short of 700 for his career, came in his first head-to-head meeting with Martin, who was on Huggins' staff when Huggins spent one season at Kansas State before taking the job at West Virginia.