NCAA News Wire

Cyclones even score with Mountaineers

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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AMES, Iowa — No. 15 Iowa State kept attacking the rim. West Virginia couldn’t stop it.

It was the perfect recipe for Iowa State’s 83-66 win Wednesday in a heated contest between Big 12 foes.

“The difference in the game is they made shots and we didn’t,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.

The Cyclones (22-5, 10-5 Big 12) got into an offensive rhythm early, and it propelled them to their third consecutive 10-win conference season, a program record.

Iowa State shot 50.8 percent from the floor on the strength of numerous buckets within a few feet of the rim. Iowa State scored 46 points in the paint. The inside game opened up the 3-point shot for the Cyclones, who made nine 3-pointers.

Forward Georges Niang led the Cyclones with 24 points, and he grabbed seven rebounds. Guard DeAndre Kane had 17 points and 11 rebounds, while forward Dustin Hogue chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds.

“He is real good,” Huggins said of Niang. “He is so good (at) passing the ball.”

However, Niang wasn’t the best Iowa State passer on the floor. Point guard Monte Morris had 12 assists, a program freshman record, and zero turnovers to go with five points and seven rebounds. Morris entered the game leading the nation with a 5.2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

“He gets that thing and he makes plays,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He is throwing lobs. He is recognizing mismatches. He is getting the ball into the post. He does such a good job of recognizing where the ball needs to get.”

Iowa State ran away from West Virginia (15-13, 7-8) in the second half thanks to a late 9-2 run. The Cyclones held a double-digit lead most of the second half despite leading scorer Melvin Ejim sitting out a long spell with four fouls after picking up a technical with 17:13 left. Ejim finished with seven points.

Iowa State came into Wednesday looking to avenge its worst loss of the season, 102-77 at West Virginia on Feb. 10, where things got feisty between the squads.

In that game, Hogue planted his foot into the midsection of West Virginia forward Kevin Noreen on a rebound attempt. Moments later, West Virginia guard Eron Harris slammed Iowa State guard Monte Morris’ head as Morris went for a layup.

Hogue was assessed a flagrant-1 foul, and Harris was ejected and flagged with a flagrant-2 foul.

“When someone embarrasses you away from your home court, you have revenge on your mind,” Niang said. “I feel like we did a good job of getting them back.”

The chippiness between the teams continued Wednesday as bodies routinely landed on the floor and both teams had plenty of words for the other. Huggins picked up a first-half technical, and Hoiberg laid into the refs early in the contest.

A 24-5 run fueled Iowa State’s 39-33 halftime lead. The Cyclones used dribble penetration from Kane and Morris, as well as interior touches by Niang, Ejim and Hogue to stretch their lead.

The Mountaineers clawed back into it by closing the first half on a 7-2 run.

West Virginia guard Juwan Staten scored 19 points. Guard Eron Harris added 15 points, and forward Remi Dibo scored 14 for the Mountaineers, who lost their third game in a row.

NOTES: Iowa State G DeAndre Kane was selected the Big 12 newcomer of the week on Monday. The West Virginia transfer averaged 21.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists in two games last week. … West Virginia G Terry Henderson missed the game due to a back injury. Henderson averages 12.1 points. … Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg tied Larry Eustachy for the most wins by a Cyclones coach in his first four seasons with 84.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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