MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Juwan Staten was so bothered by the two free throws he missed late in Tuesday's game against Baylor -- misses that proved meaningless when he made the game-winning shot moments later -- that West Virginia's point guard watched the foul shots on tape 20 or so times to see what went wrong.
He submitted something equally reviewable Saturday with a career-high 35 points in an 81-71 victory before a crowd of 10,121 at the Coliseum.
Staten was 8-for-13 from the floor and 18-for-21 at the free-throw line. He missed his first two free throws, but carried the Mountaineers with drives, jumpers, a rare 3-pointer and a dunk to a spot in fourth place in the Big 12 in the middle of the conference schedule.
"I was just disappointed in myself and felt like I needed to come out and really prove I can make free throws," Staten said after scoring the most points at WVU since Da'Sean Butler scored 43 against Villanova in February 2009. "It's something I work on every day, so that factored in a little bit as far as driving the ball and trying to get to the rim or get fouled. I knew they didn't have a typical rim protector, so I thought I could get a good shot off or get a good look."
No one has attempted more free throws in a game since Rod Thorn tried 23 in January 1963. Staten tied Thorn's school record from the same game for made free throws.
"Juwan Staten is a heck of a player," Kansas State coach Bruce Weber said. "He was playing so well that West Virginia wasn't running any plays. They used a high ball screen that we saw last time we played them at Kansas State and we could not guard him."
Staten scored 23 of WVU's 42 points in the second half and helped significantly in the absence of points from Eron Harris and Terry Henderson, the teams' second- and third-leading scorers. They both had 11 points in the first half. Harris didn't score in the second half and Henderson only made two free throws. They were a combined 0-for-5 after halftime.
Remi Dibo scored 10 points in his second start of the season and had a critical 3 and a jumper while as Staten went 6:14 between points late in the game. WVU actually built onto a lead that had been five points after Staten set a career-high with two free throws and 29 points for a 64-59 lead with 7:07 to go. Henderson's two free throws in the second half preceded two more from Staten and put the Mountaineers ahead 75-68 with 53 seconds left to play.
Staten's final free throws with 33 seconds to go built a game-high 11-point lead and his final basket was a dunk with 24 seconds remaining to answer a 3 from Shane Southwell.
"I don't know that I've ever had anybody like him, to be honest with you," coach Bob Huggins said.
After a wavy second half that saw WVU build a 10-point lead and give up a 13-5 run and then go up eight before having the score tied 53-52 with 12:17 remaining, the Mountaineers (13-9, 5-4) have their second Big 12 winning streak of the season and the third since joining the league last season. There's a difference this time, though, because the Mountaineers didn't do it against TCU and Texas Tech, like they did earlier this month, or Texas Tech and Texas, like they did last year, when TCU, Texas Tech and Texas finished below them in the standings.
Baylor was ranked No. 7 earlier this month and won at Oklahoma State Saturday. Kansas State handed WVU its worst loss of the season two weeks earlier and enjoyed it a bit too much for WVU's taste.
"They kind of embarrassed us," Staten said. "There was a lot of laughing and joking and celebrating. That got to us. We definitely didn't play our best basketball there."