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No. 17 Iowa State knocks off No. 14 WVU

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Mountaineers poor shooting leads to first Big 12 loss

The 14th-ranked Mountaineers rode a seven-game winning streak and a 14-1 record into Saturday night’s matchup with No. 17 Iowa State. Red hot West Virginia had just won a pair of Big 12 road games at TCU and Texas Tech, giving head coach Bob Huggins 754 victories, placing him 14th among NCAA Division I’s all-time winningest coaches.

Iowa State had recently righted their ship to 11-2 with a home win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys after a disappointing loss to South Carolina.

Early in the first quarter, Iowa State established an 11-6 lead through 50 percent shooting from the field. West Virginia could not apply the full court pressure they have been so successful with, and they were struggling offensively, shooting just 25 percent from the floor before the first TV timeout. The Cyclones were able to gain an 8-point lead regardless of the fact that they had committed a lot of turnovers.

However, thanks to a jumper from sophomore forward Devin Williams and 3-pointers by senior guards Gary Browne and Juwan Staten, the Mountaineers cut ISU’s lead to 31-30.With two seconds left on the clock, Iowa State sophomore guard Monte Morris committed a foul on Staten, sending the WVU star to the foul line, where he tied the game at 32-32.

After shooting 36 percent from the floor and just 20 percent from deep (3 for 15), West Virginia was probably fortunate to be tied.

In the second half, the Cyclones re-established their dominance on the offensive end, shooting a scorching 77 percent over the first six minutes. A 12-2 run gave Iowa State a 44-34 lead with 14 minutes to go.

The Mountaineers had a breakthrough when three Iowa State starters had to sit with four fouls each, sending Staten, Williams and sophomore guard Tarrick Phillips to the free throw line in succession and WVU was able to tie the game 55-55.

Iowa State junior forward Abdel Nadel responded, though, and the Cyclones took a 66-60 lead.

The Mountaineers stayed in the game through a 3-point shot from sophomore guard Chase Connor and free throws from junior forward Jonathan Holton and Williams, and jumpers from Staten and Williams.

The game came down to the wire when Staten hit a jumper to keep the score to 69-67 with 54 seconds left. Holton and Staten each got to the free throw line, but the opportunity slipped through their hands as each missed key free throws, which could have tied the score and sent the game to overtime.

West Virginia had a tough time penetrating down the lane throughout the game and shot for 32 percent from the field on 22 of 68 shooting. West Virginia was even worse from 3-point range as they shot just 24 percent (7-29). The Mountaineers were also unable to take advantage of Iowa State’s turnovers as they only scored 14 points off of ISU's season high 18 turnovers.

The Cyclones bench outscored the Mountaineers bench by 10 (29-19)

The United Star Player of the Game was awarded to Devin Williams, who ended the game with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 4 assists. Staten was also a major contributor to WVU's efforts and ended the game with 23 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds.

Iowa State’s Nader, who averaged 6.2 points per game entering Saturday’s contest, ended the game with a team-high 19 points and 7 rebounds. Junior forward Greg Niang scored 16 points and 5 points.

West Virginia will face No.16 Oklahoma at home on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 7:00pm.

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