WVU struggled to score at times and dealt with foul trouble to its frontcourt throughout, allowing the Jayhawks to come out of Phog Allen Fieldhouse win a win.
WVU lost for the first time in four games and will quickly turnaround to face No. 16 Iowa State at the Coliseum on Monday.
West Virginia (14-10, 6-5) missed a huge opportunity to improve its NCAA tournament resume against Kansas (18-5, 9-1) but was unable to keep the Jayhawks from scoring.
KU shot 55 percent from the field led by 19 points from freshman guard Andrew Wiggins. Guard Wayne Selden, Jr. finished with 17. Two others finished with 10 or more points.
West Virginia just wasn’t able to keep pace with the balanced scoring from Kansas. The Mountaineers shot 40 percent. Junior point guard Juwan Staten led WVU with a game-high 22 points and four assists.
Sophomore guard Eron Harris finished with 17 points – 13 of those coming in the first half. In the second half, Wiggins caused WVU some trouble with his length and athleticism.
Sophomore guard Terry Henderson struggled. He scored just two points and just couldn’t get any consistency offensively for the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers used a 1-3-1 defense much of the second half in part because they couldn’t stop Kansas but also due to foul trouble. Every forward that routinely plays struggled to stay on the floor. Freshman forward Brandon Watkins fouled out with 4:52 to play. He had seven points.
KU had a large advantage in points in the paint and rebounding.
Kansas took a six-point lead early behind some nice inside play that caused WVU foul trouble. Harris would hit threes on three straight possessions to give the Mountaineers a 20-17 advantage.
After Kansas regained the lead, WVU would fight back and take a 28-27 advantage on a layup from junior forward Kevin Noreen – his first points since early January.
The Jayhawks would use a 7-0 run capped by a three from Selden Jr. put them up 34-30 and forced West Virginia to call a timeout.
The Mountaineers didn’t hit a shot from the field in the final 7:36 of the half, and that allowed KU to take a 43-36 halftime lead on a follow-up dunk to end the half by Wiggins.
The Mountaineers were able to force a Kansas timeout after cutting its lead to just two at 46-44 on a three from freshman forward Nathan Adrian.
It would take some time, but the Jayhawks’ lead grew to nine points at the 9:50 mark of the second half on a three from Selden to force a timeout from West Virginia.
Kansas would take the game’s first double-digit lead with under seven minutes to play, and after another dunk by the Jayhawks to make it 68-56, the Mountaineers took another timeout to try to weather the storm and get back into the contest.
West Virginia would get the game back to single digits, but junior guard Naadir Tharpe hit a three with under three minutes to play to take a 77-66 lead and another easy score for the Jayhawks put the game out of reach for WVU. The Mountaineers missed several outside shots during that stretch.
KU freshman center Joel Embiid had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
WVU was just 6-of-23 from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers had 14 turnovers.