KU was able to secure their Big 12 Tournament Championship last night by beating the West Virginia Mountaineers 81-70. This win also completes the series sweep for the Jayhawks.
Fresh off of a 16-point victory over Kansas State in the Semifinals, the Jayhawks met the three-seed West Virginia Mountaineers for the third time this season. KU came in with a lot of confidence after beating WVU in their other two meetings.
The Jayhawks were without Center Udoka Azubuike who sat out with a meniscus injury that he sustained in practice earlier in the week. Mitch Lightfoot would start this game in his place with Silvio De Sousa backing him up.
West Virginia is notorious for playing an aggressive full court pressure style defense. As the Jayhawks did earlier this season, they handled West Virginia’s full court press quite well only finishing with ten turnovers which is two fewer than their season average.
A big reason why KU came out on top was their terrific three-point shooting. The Jayhawks were able to generate lots of open shots due their ability to drive and kick. KU was able to knock through 15 three-pointers on an impressive 55.6 three-point percentage.
In the absence of Udoka Azubuike, freshman Silvio De Sousa posted his best game as a Jayhawk. De Sousa finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and showed off his tremendous ability to finish off the fast breaks, catching alley oops and finishing with highlight-reel slams. Silvio’s athleticism combined with his ability to rebound could prove an X-factor for the Jayhawks heading into March Madness.
Sophomore guard Malik Newman continued his outstanding shooting streak with a team leading 20-points on an efficient 6-8 shooting from downtown.
On the other side, WVU guard Daxter Miles Jr. played another good game against the Hawks. He posted a Game high 25-points while hitting some big three-point shots.
All attention is now on the NCAA Tournament. KU is scheduled to begin Tournament play this Thursday as they will be taking on the 16-seeded Penn Quakers at 1 p.m. C.S.T. This game will be televised nationally on TBS and a live play-by-play will be provided on 90.7 KJHK with coverage beginning an hour before tip-off.