MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia put the clamps on Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim, while their own candidate for Big 12 Player of the Year, guard Juwan Staten, strung together a dazzling all-around game Monday, leading the Mountaineers to a 102-77 victory over the 11th-ranked Cyclones.
As the West Virginia student section chanted “MVP,” Staten scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out nine assists.
Ejim, the Big 12’s leading scorer coming off a record-shattering, 48-point performance against TCU, managed just six points on 1-for-9 shooting.
Staten came into the game second to Ejim in the conference scoring race, trailing in scoring average 19.8 to 18.3, although Staten led the league in total points scored with 438.
The game proved to be an awakening for West Virginia sophomore guard Terry Henderson, who scored just two points Saturday at Kansas. Henderson scored 16 points Monday, including 13 in the first half points as the Mountaineers established a 52-33 lead at the break.
West Virginia guard Remi Dibo scored 20 hitting, six of eight 3-point shots before fouling out with 1:49 left to play. Mountaineers guard Eron Harris also scored 16 before being ejected on an intentional foul late in the game.
The Mountaineers (15-10, 7-5 Big 12) won for the fifth time in seven games, two of them against top 25 teams — Oklahoma and Iowa State.
Guard Georges Niang led the Cyclones (18-5, 6-5) with 17 points. Forward Dustin Hogue added 15 points, guard DeAndre Kane scored 14, guard Matt Thomas had 13 and guard Monte Morris added 10.
Iowa State shot 4-for-23 (17.4 percent) from 3-point range, while West Virginia hit 13 of 22 attempts from behind the arc (59.1 percent).
Ejim was coming off one of the greatest games in Big 12 history, as he made 20 of 24 shots and grabbed 18 rebounds against TCU.
Then there was Henderson, who missed all three of his field-goal attempts against Kansas. He did not take a shot from the field in the second half and finished with just two free throws.
Things changed in the first half Monday. By halftime, Ejim had managed only four points on 1-of-7 shooting from the floor as the Mountaineers put the clamps on him. He did have nine first-half rebounds, though, and he finished with 12.
Conversely, Henderson hit his first three 3-point shots and had 11 points just 5:40 into the game. He helped West Virginia to a 19-point halftime lead.
Henderson went into halftime with 13 points, three rebounds and two assists.
NOTES: Iowa State F Melvin Ejim entered the game as the only power conference player averaging at least 18 points and eight rebounds while shooting at least 50 percent from the floor and 35 percent from 3-point range … The Cyclones feature balanced scoring, with at least four players scoring in double figures in 19 of their 23 games. … West Virginia ranked ninth in fewest turnovers per and 29th in assist-to-turnover ratio nationally entering the game. The Mountaineers gave the ball away eight times Monday. … Mountaineers G Juwan Staten has had one or fewer turnovers in 18 of his past 32 games. … West Virginia G Eron Harris entered the game ranked second in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made, third in free-throw percentage and fourth in 3-point percentage.
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