ISU uses second half run to down WVU

After a first half of back-and-forth action that looked like it could go either way in Ames, No. 14 Iowa State was able to use an early run in the second half to cruise past No. 21 West Virginia, 79-59, Saturday.

The Cyclones started the second half on a 15-2 run against the Mountaineers after heading into the locker room with a four-point lead and never looked back after that. West Virginia (19-6, 7-5 Big 12 Conference) was never able to get back in the game, and wasn't able to do the things that helped it get out to such a good start to the season.

"We've relied on turnovers and offensive rebounds," said WVU head coach Bob Huggins, "and (Saturday) we got neither."

West Virginia turned the ball over 19 times, while forcing ISU to commit just 16 and the Cyclones became the fourth consecutive Mountaineer opponent to shoot 55 percent or better from the field.

The game started with Iowa State seizing the momentum early on and jumping out to a 7-2 lead within the game's first few minutes. But while the Cyclones were mostly able to keep the control of the game, WVU slowly worked its way back into the game and took the lead with a little more than six minutes left in the first half on a Gary Browne three. From there, the two teams traded punches for the remainder of the half with West Virginia and Iowa State both making enough plays to keep it close.

But as the game entered the second half, the Mountaineers weren't able to make the shots and do the things they had done to keep it close during the first half. As Iowa State made its quick jump out to its run to start the second half, West Virginia started the half making just one of its first seven shot attempts from the field in the final 20 minutes and were just never able to work its way back after that.

Between the Mountaineers' struggles from the field and turning the ball over an excessive amount in the second half, the Cyclones were able to make their move and run away quickly and keep a double-digit lead for most of the second half.

"You may not make shots, but we shouldn't turn it over," Huggins said after the loss. "We haven't made shots all year.

"There's no fear of someone making a shot. When there's no fear, why would you guard them?"

Senior point guard Juwan Staten was the lone Mountaineer in double figures against the Cyclones, scoring 16 points and finishing with seven assists. Ten West Virginia players scored in the contest.

Iowa State had five players score at least 10 points, led by Monte Morris' 19 points and five assists. Abdel Nader and Bryce Dejean-Jones came off the bench to score 16 and 10 points, respectively. Jameel McKay had 12 points and five blocks while Georges Niang finished with 11 points and six rebounds.

The Mountaineers, who have now lost three of their last games, face a quick turnaround, heading back to Morgantown for a Monday night showdown against No. 8 Kansas.

BlueGoldNews Top Stories