MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Iowa State, the top 3-point shooting team in the country, used the 3-ball to down West Virginia 83-74 Saturday in Morgantown in the regular season finale for both teams.
The Cyclones enhanced their NCAA tournament resume by drilling 14 of 23 from behind the arc for 60.9 percent with six different players making at least one triple.
Will Clyburn scored 27 and Korie Lucious added 21 for Iowa State, now 21-10, 11-7. Georges Niang contributed 14 and Chris Babb added 11.
“They’re a really good pick-and-pop team and roll-and-replace team and at the end of the clock that’s what they do,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “They do that all the time, which is good stuff when you’ve got guys who make shots the way they do.”
West Virginia, which finishes the regular season with a 13-18 overall record and a 6-12 mark in Big 12 play, got 19 off the bench from Jabarie Hinds
“He played well today and I thought he guarded,” said Huggins.
, Matt Humphrey
and Aaric Murray
scored 11 each, while Terry Henderson
West Virginia trailed at halftime 44-20.
“We tried to manufacture points in the first half and not run offense and in the second half we just tried to spread them so we could get some penetration with Jabarie and isolate Deniz in the post,” said Huggins.
Today’s game followed a similar pattern to the two-point loss West Virginia had in Ames back in mid-January, the Cyclones building a big early lead before holding on at the end.
Iowa State led this one by 27, 55-28, with 15:46 left in the game before the Mountaineers finally came alive. West Virginia used a 13-0 run midway through the second half to get Iowa State’s lead under double digits, and then got it to four on a dunk by Henderson to make it 76-72 with 48 seconds left.
With West Virginia trailing by six, 78-72, Eron Harris
got a wide open look at a 3 from the top of the key but Chris Babb was able to get a hand on his shot that led to a Clyburn free throw to make it a seven-point game.
“I thought we had Eron wide open on the out of bounds play,” said Huggins.
Then, senior Deniz Kilcili was unsuccessful attempting to post up Melvin Ejim in the paint with his close look to the basket rolled off the rim with 26 seconds left, leading to two more Cyclone free throws.
Iowa State had a 17-8 advantage at the free throw line today.
Iowa State shot 56.5 percent for the game and becomes the fourth opponent in the last six games to shoot better than 50 percent against the Mountaineers. West Virginia’s defense has given up 71 points to Kansas State, 73 points to Oklahoma State, 91 points to Kansas, 83 to Oklahoma and now 83 to Iowa State in its last six games.
“We didn’t guard,” said Huggins. “Our biggest problem is we just don’t guard. They shoot 56 percent and we’re just not guarding them.”
West Virginia enters the Phillips 66 Big 12 tournament on a six-game losing streak. The Mountaineers will either be the seventh or the eighth seed in the tournament, depending upon what Texas does later today against Texas Tech.
The Big 12 tournament is being played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.