MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Remi Dibo scored a season-high 20 points and Juwan Staten
had another day at the office with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to lead West Virginia to a 102-77 victory over 11th
-ranked Iowa State Monday night at the WVU Coliseum.
It was the second win for the Mountaineers in their last three games against a ranked opponent, it was the widest margin of victory over a Top 25 team since West Virginia downed 15th-ranked Ohio State by 28 in Columbus on Dec. 27, 2008 and was also the most points scored by West Virginia versus a ranked team since an 111-point explosion against No. 5 Wake Forest in the second round of the 2005 NCAA tournament in Cleveland.
It was the first time WVU topped the 100-point barrier in a conference game since putting 104 on Marquette on Jan. 14, 2006 when the Mountaineers were still in the Big East.
Tonight, West Virginia set the tone with the 3-ball, getting three quick ones from Terry Henderson
and Nathan Adrian
. The Mountaineers built a double-digit lead on Gary Browne
’s jumper, and expanded their lead to 21 on an Eron Harris
basket with 1:21 left in the first half.
“Obviously we made shots,” said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins. “And when we went to the matchup (zone) I think it kind of took their rhythm away. I think they’re very much a rhythm team.”
"They didn't know what we were in because we really didn't know what we were in," added guard Juwan Staten
. "I think it really disrupted them."
The Mountaineers kept their foot on the gas pedal at the start of the second half, getting a 3 from Dibo as their lead swelled to as many as 32 with 6:55 remaining.
"We challenged our guys to come out and play well in the second half," said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. "The start of the period went fine, but then we began to make the same mistakes. We allowed West Virginia to get too comfortable. Obviously they hit their shots and were to do a good job spacing and sharing the ball. That was the worst effort we have had by far this season."
West Virginia (15-10, 7-5) shot the ball well from everywhere, hitting 53.8 percent overall, 59.1 percent from 3 and 90.5 percent from the free throw line.
“I think the key was we made a couple of plays off our defense and we got a couple of layups,” said Huggins. “We had that stretch there (midway through the second half) when our defense carried us; which when was the last time we said that?”
Harris contributed 16 before his night ended with 4:25 remaining when he was called for a flagrant 2 foul in retaliation to Dustin Hogue kicking Kevin Noreen
in the stomach while grabbing a rebound. Hogue was also called for a flagrant 1 foul on the play.
It was clearly not Iowa State’s night tonight, the Cyclones shooting just 36.6 percent overall, including only 17.4 percent from 3. Forward Melvin Ejim, who broke the Big 12 scoring record with 48 points on Saturday against TCU, was 42 shy of that tonight on just 1 of 9 shooting.
DeAndre Kane, from nearby Pittsburgh, also struggled to find his shooting stroke, hitting 6 of 15 from the floor for 14 points. Kane shot an air ball on one free throw attempt in the first half, which the WVU student section reminded him of throughout the remainder of the game.
“They didn’t shoot it as well as they can shoot it and we are very well aware of that,” said Huggins. “I’ve got great respect for Fred.”
The victory was West Virginia’s fourth over an RPI Top 60 in its last five games and it now puts the Mountaineers closer to getting into the discussion for an NCAA tournament at-large bid.
“This helps us,” said Huggins. “This is a huge step to get us back RPI-wise where we’re supposed to be and get us back into the national conversation. But it’s not over with. We’ve got to go play Texas and do a much better job than what we did the first time we played them.”
WVU has games remaining against 18-5 Texas, 14-9 Baylor, 18-5 Iowa State, 9-13 TCU, 18-6 Oklahoma and 18-5 Kansas.
Saturday’s game at Texas will tip off at 8 p.m. and will be televised on the Longhorn Network.