MORGANTOWN, W. Virg. (KSNW) — Kansas State men’s basketball dropped its game today.  It was a tale of two halves for the Wildcats, as they saw a 13-point halftime lead dwindle to a three-point loss, dropping their sixth game of the season to the West Virginia Mountaineers, 71-68.

Nigel Pack was a force offensively once again, finishing with 20 points on seven-of-18 shooting. The Wildcats had four different players score well offensively, with Ismael Massoud (13), Markquis Nowell (10), and Mark Smith (14) all finishing in double figures.

The Wildcats were once again plagued by COVID protocols, only having eight players available, and Head Ball Coach Bruce Weber out for the second straight game. Assistant coach Jermaine Henderson filled in as the head coach for the Wildcats.

“It has not been an easy week for the program, emotionally,” Henderson said. “So I thought our mentality was pretty good for 40 minutes, and again, came up short in a big area at the end.”

The first half was all Wildcat. At the 15-minute mark of the first half, K-State held an 18-4 advantage. West Virginia would cut the lead slightly, but when the teams went to the locker room, the Wildcats held a 40-27 advantage.

The second half started poorly, though, with West Virginia going on a 10-2 run to start the second half. From there, West Virginia continued to chip away at the lead before taking it for good at the seven-minute mark, 56-53.

West Virginia would continue to grow their lead, bringing it to 61-53 with just over five minutes to go in the game. K-State would claw back, though, and make the Mountaineers sweat it out with some last-second free throws. It was not enough, though, and they fell short, 71-68.

K-State will head home to Manhattan and try to regroup with a game against TCU on Jan. 12. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and will air on ESPNU.