|West Virginia forward Devin Williams, Iowa State forward Georges Niang, West Virginia forward Remi Dibo and Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim all reach for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Ames, Iowa, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Iowa State won 83-66.
Georges Niang’s 24 points and DeAndre Kane’s 17 helped 15th-ranked Iowa State to an 83-66 victory over West Virginia Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.
Iowa State, now 22-5, 10-5, built a 14-point lead midway through the first half before the Mountaineers worked the deficit down to six, 30-24, on a Juwan Staten
jumper. Then trailing by nine, 37-28, WVU used a 5-0 run to pull within four until Niang ended the spurt with a basket near the end of the half.
Iowa State scored the first five points of the second half to get its lead back to 11, 44-33, forcing Huggins to stop play just two minutes into the second half. Four minutes later, West Virginia got it back to six, 51-45, on a Remi Dibo 3, and was trailing by seven, 59-52, with 11:40 remaining when Gary Browne
knocked down his only 3 of the game.
West Virginia trailed by five with 10:56 to go, by seven with 9:12 remaining and by nine at the 4:29 mark before going ice cold the rest of the way. Iowa State’s lead swelled to 11 and then to 14 before finally reaching 17 at the end of the game.
The Cyclones shot 50.8 percent from the floor – the third consecutive game the Mountaineers have allowed their opponent to shoot better than 50 percent. It was also the third straight game West Virginia has allowed its opponent to score more than 80 points.
Iowa State was 9 of 20 from 3 for 45 percent and the Cyclones also out-rebounded the Mountaineers, 46-38. Iowa State shot 65 percent in the second half.
“They make open shots,” said West Virginia coach Huggins. “You run help over to them and they made open 3s. And, until our guys get in the gym and decide to become shooters and make open shots, this is going to continue to happen.”
West Virginia, now 15-13, 7-8, got 19 points from Staten, 15 from Eron Harris
and 14 from Dibo.
With Staten's 19 points tonight, he becomes the first player in school history to score more than 500 points, grab more than 150 rebounds and hand out more than 150 assists in a season. Staten now shows 506 points, 167 rebounds and 167 assists with three regular season games and postseason play remaining.
Tonight’s game was the second straight without third-leading scorer Terry Henderson
, who did not make the trip because of illness.
“You take Terry out of the deal and that’s another guy who can make open shots,” said Huggins. “They put so much attention on Eron. If we could step out and make some open shots we could curl him, or back cut him, but they took Georges Niang and stood him in the middle of the lane and Eron couldn’t back cut and couldn’t curl.”
Earlier this year, West Virginia defeated Iowa State 102-77 in Morgantown.
Iowa State improves to 14-1 at Hilton Coliseum and is 30-2 over the last two seasons at home. The Cyclones’ only two losses during that span were against Kansas.
West Virginia looks to snap its three-game losing streak this Saturday against TCU at the WVU Coliseum. That game will tip off at 1:30 p.m. and will be televised locally on ROOT Sports.
“We’ve got to find a way to win a couple of games the rest of the way,” said Huggins.
Iowa State travels to Kansas State this Saturday.