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No. 21 WVU falls at No. 14 Iowa State

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Morris leads 14th-ranked Iowa State over No. 21 #WestVirginia 79-59 to sweep the season series with the Mountaineers.

After a nail-biting opening half, the Mountaineers lost their offensive rhythm and Iowa State dominated in the final 20 minutes to win by 20.

West Virginia appeared re-energized after grabbing a winning over Kansas State on Wednesday, snapping what had been a two game losing skid.

However, WVU could not keep their momentum going as they were smothered by Iowa State’s efficient offense, which is ranked in the top 15 in scoring (80 points per game), shooting percentage (48.8 percent) and assists (17.5) per game.

The Mountaineers started slowly as the Cyclones overwhelmed the WVU defense thanks to Monte Morris and junior forward Abdel Nader, who set the offensive tone for Iowa State to gain an early 7-point lead. WVU had problems with taking care of the ball with 11 turnovers in the first half, including four in the first four minutes of play.

West Virginia was able to get its groove back late in the half, after freshman guard Daxter Miles made a jumper which pulled the Mountaineers within two. 

With 6:32 minutes left in the half, senior guard Gary Browne hit a 3-pointer to give WVU their first lead of the game at 21-19. WVU held the lead until the last minute of the half, when Nader made a jumper and Iowa State took a 31-30 lead. WVU answered with 15 seconds left with a Browne jumper to cut the lead to 36-32 ISU at the half.

Things turned ugly for WVU in the second half. The Mountaineers could not execute offensively, shooting a dismal 37 percent from the field, 32 percent from deep and just 50 percent from the free throw line.

The poor shooting was made worse by poor passing from the Mountaineers, who resorted to forcing shots in the lane and rushing shots from the perimeter.

Iowa State, on the other hand, overcame the Mountaineers infamous press and had five players in double digits by the end of the game.

The United Bank Star Player of the Game was awarded to senior guard Juwan Staten, who was the only Mountaineer to reach double digits and he ended the game with 16 points and 7 assists.

West Virginia will return home to face another challenge against No. 8 Kansas on Monday.

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