No. 2 Kansas outlasts West Virginia

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Kansas’ Travis Releford, left, and Jeff Withey, right, scramble for a loose ball against West Virginia’s Deniz Kilicli during the first half of a Big 12 Conference game Monday night in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/David Smith)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Travis Releford and Jeff Withey both scored 15 points and No. 2 Kansas nearly relinquished a double-digit lead before beating West Virginia 61-56 on Monday night to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 18 games.

Kansas (7-0 Big 12, 19-1) shot 54 percent from the field in the first-ever meeting between the schools. The Jayhawks have held their last six opponents under 60 points.

Ben McLemore added 13 points for Kansas.

Aaric Murray led West Virginia (2-5, 9-11) with 17 points and Juwan Staten added 14.

West Virginia used several steals to trim a 15-point deficit to eight at halftime but never took the lead in the second half.

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