MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With Iowa State’s starters in deep foul trouble, reserve forward Abdel Nader matched a season high with 19 points and the No. 17 Cyclones edged No. 14 West Virginia 74-72.
“We needed every one of those points,” said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, whose team has won each of its first two Big 12 games by a basket. “Abdel was unbelievable out there tonight — not only hitting shots, getting to the free-throw line and getting to the basket, but also his poise against the press.”
Forward Georges Niang, playing the final 11 minutes with four fouls, added 16 points for Iowa State (12-2, 2-0 Big 12), which suffered a season-worst 18 turnovers yet snapped the Mountaineers’ seven-game win streak.
Point guard Juwan Staten scored 23 and forward Devin Williams delivered a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double for West Virginia (14-2, 2-1). Though their trademark press created throwaways, the Mountaineers could not overcome 32 percent shooting, including a 7 of 29 night from 3-point range. They came in last in the Big 12 in 3-point percentage.
“We just didn’t pass the ball. We had guys open and we didn’t pass the ball,” Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins said. “We had Velcro hands — everybody who caught it wanted to hold it, play with it, dribble it.”
Nader’s second double-digit scoring game of the season proved crucial after Iowa State’s Monte Morris and Dustin Hogue fouled out. Nader made all six of his free throws, including two with 14 seconds left for a 73-70 lead.
After West Virginia chose not to try a potential tying 3-pointer, Williams was fouled trying to stick back Staten’s miss with six seconds left. Williams’ free throws trimmed the deficit to 73-72, but West Virginia couldn’t produce a steal on the inbounds pass and fouled Naz Long with 1.6 seconds left.
Long made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second, leaving West Virginia forward Nate Adrian to launch an off-target 60-foot heave as time elapsed.
“You have to win road games if you want to compete for league championships,” Hoiberg said. “But not many people are going to win in this building.”
Niang’s spinning left-handed bank shot put Iowa State up 69-65 with 1:03 left, but Staten converted a three-point play on the other end, fouling out the Cyclones’ point guard Morris in the process.
West Virginia missed a chance to pull even on Paige’s in-and-out 3-point try with 2:29 left, and the guard fouled out on the ensuing defensive possession.
Though the Mountaineers collected 19 offensive rebounds, Iowa State won the boards overall 40-38. That included seven rebounds each for Nader and fellow reserve Jameel McKay.
“To outrebound them in their own building was huge,” Hoiberg said.
Beyond Williams, who matched his career best on the glass, no West Virginia player grabbed more than four rebounds.
“They got more 50-50 balls than we did,” said Williams. “Coach (Huggins) showed us stats that when they win the rebounding battle they’re like 9-0, and tonight they won it.”
Between the 10:59 and 8:25 mark of the second half, Iowa State starters Niang, Hogue and Morris each suffered his fourth foul.
After Gary Browne’s 3 gave West Virginia a 35-32 lead on its opening possession of the second half, Iowa State countered with a 12-2 run.
A putback by Nader gave the Cyclones a 51-43 edge, but West Virginia answered with its own 12-2 spurt, including two 3-pointers by Paige.
NOTES: West Virginia’s Daxter Miles Jr. was helped to the locker room with an injured right leg at the 13:41 mark of the second half. The freshman fell after becoming tangled with teammate Devin Williams. … Nader’s previous 19-point outing came in a road win at Iowa. … Iowa State PG Monte Morris entered with a 4.8 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranked No. 2 in the nation. He produced six assists and only one turnover in the win. … McKay, playing in his fifth game since becoming eligible after a transfer from Marquette, blocked five shots. … The game featured a collision of strengths: The Cyclones hadn’t committed more than 15 turnovers in any game this season and the Mountaineers hadn’t forced fewer than 18. … Iowa State’s All-Big 12 candidate Georges Niang came in fighting a 6-of-25 shooting
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