LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Frank Mason III capped one of the biggest comebacks in Allen Fieldhouse history by scoring the last eight points in overtime to lead No. 9 Kansas past No. 20 West Virginia 76-69 on Tuesday night for the Jayhawks’ 11th consecutive Big 12 championship.
Mason had 19 points for the Jayhawks, whose 11 straight conference titles trail only the 13 in a row UCLA won in the John Wooden era.
Junior forward Perry Ellis, the Jayhawks’ leading scorer, appeared to injure his knee late in the first half and did not return.
Daxter Miles had 23 points for West Virginia (22-8, 10-7), which was without star guard Juwan Staten, who had scored at least 20 points in each of the last three games against Kansas.
Trailing by as many as 18 points in a ragged first half, Kansas (24-6, 13-4) finally tied it 59-all on two free throws by Devonte Graham with 11.5 seconds left in regulation. Miles’ 3-pointer gave West Virginia a quick 63-61 overtime lead before Jamari Traylor’s three-point play made it 64-63.
Mason went 4 for 4 from the free throw line in the waning seconds, the final shot going in with 4.1 seconds to play as the Jayhawks completed a 16-0 home season.
Traylor had 14 points for Kansas, which was outrebounded 46-34. The Jayhawks, who have been living by their outside shooting most of the season, were 0 for 15 from behind the arc.
The Mountaineers stunned the favored Jayhawks and their 230th consecutive sellout crowd with an 18-4 run in the first half to take a 22-10 lead. Kelly Oubre’s basket had Kansas ahead 6-4 with 16:59 left in the half. But stymied by West Virginia’s swarming defense and overwhelmed on the offensive and defensive boards, the Jayhawks did not make another field goal until Hunter Mickelson, a little-used reserve, got a layup at the 8:31 mark
The Mountaineers’ lead reached 38-22 when Tarik Phillip’s two free throws and basket capped an 8-0 spurt near the end of the half. The Jayhawks, who were 0 for 7 from behind the arc and were outrebounded 26-11, were within 40-26 at halftime by hitting 12 of 14 free throws.
Kansas: As soon as the game ended, Kansas closed down the Booth Family Hall of Athletics. The hall, attached to the east side of Allen Fieldhouse, will be closed for six months to make room for construction of the DeBruce Center, which is being built to house James Naismith’s original rules for basketball that a Kansas fan bought on auction for $4.3 million and donated to the university.
West Virginia: In their take-charge first half, the Mountaineers had more offensive rebounds (14) than defensive (12).
Kansas: at Oklahoma on Saturday.
West Virginia: hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday.