And afterward, Martin blamed himself that the game ever went to overtime on Jones' 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in regulation.
"I should have known what he was going to do. I worked with the man,'' Martin said of the pop-out play that gave the 6-foot-9 Jones an open 3-point look. "If I'd substituted right we'd have won the game.''
Martin was kicking himself for leaving the 6-7, 275-pound Gipson in to defend Jones and Kilicli in the post instead of a more agile defender who could chase Jones on the perimeter.
But until almost precisely that point, the game was anything but a perimeter game. It was a foul-filled free-for-all at times, a game in which officials whistled a combined 55 fouls. And that just accentuated the fact that neither team is proficient at making free throws. West Virginia finished 18-for-31 and K-State 14-for-26. The teams also evenly split 36 turnovers, a combined 12 by Kilicli and freshman Gary Browne for WVU and four more by freshman point guard Jabarie Hinds.
But then a handful of those freshmen came through big, including the 3 by Brown, along with four more points he scored in the second overtime.
"That's the thing about freshmen,'' Bryant said. "You never know what you're going to get. But we need at least a few of them to step up every night.''
But after that sloppy, foul-plagued regulation -- both squads were in the 10-shot double bonus less than 10 minutes into the second half -- the two teams actually played pretty solid, foul-free basketball for much of both overtimes. McGruder sent the game to a second five-minute extra period with a runner with 6.2 seconds to play.
In the second, the teams again traded baskets back and forth and it was 80-all with under a minute to play. That's when Jones made a little move in the post to score and make it 82-80 with 26.6 seconds to play. Browne added one free throw with 11.7 seconds to go after McGruder missed a 3-pointer for Kansas State, but he couldn't make two to seal it.
It didn't matter, though, when McGruder missed another 3 with about five seconds to play and Jones wrapped it up with two free throws to break his own career-high point total of 29 set a few weeks ago in a game against Alcorn State.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.