Well, that was a good old fashioned butt kicking. Coming off three straight wins, Iowa State rolled into Morgantown with some confidence in tow, only to have a hot-shooting West Virginia team lay a beatdown on the Cyclones as the Mountaineers rolled to a 102-77 victory.
West Virginia scorched the nets in the first half to the tune of 52 points on 50% shooting. Iowa State had no answer for the onslaught of three-point shooting in the opening half as the Mountaineers hit 7-13 from outside. Unfortunately for Iowa State, the torrid pace continued after the break as the Mountaineers scored 50 in the second half.
Sometimes beatdowns happen, so if there's any silver lining to take away from this game, it's this; West Virginia is not this good and Iowa State is not this bad. This was just one of those games where nothing went right. The best thing to do is to burn the game film, crack a beer and forget this one ever happened.
This may have been an ugly loss, but it was still just one loss. Iowa State will return home with a chance to right the ship as Texas Tech will visit Ames on Saturday and Texas will come north on Tuesday, February 18th. At 6-5 in league play, it will be crucial for Iowa State to get both of those wins before the last five games of conference play.
I thought the low-point for Iowa State offensively came earlier in the year against Kansas at home, but tonight's offensive effort was even worse. Iowa State shot 36.6% from the field, a dismal 4-23 from outside (17.4%) and turned it over 14 times. Still, as bad as the Cyclones were offensively, they were even more pathetic defensively.
West Virginia is a good team and can really put points on the board, but they're not that good. Iowa State did an awful job of keeping West Virginia's guards in front of them and put on a clinic for how not to close out and defend the perimeter. The end result was a 25-point margin of victory that saw West Virginia shoot 53% from the floor, an astounding 59% from outside, and just for good measure, the Mountaineers hit 19 of their 21 free throw attempts (90%).
Remi Dibo had a career game, nailing 6-8 from deep and scoring a game-best 20 points. West Virginia had a balanced attack, though, as Juwan Staten finished with 19 and Eron Harris and Terry Henderson each had 16 a piece.
Iowa State had five guys in double figures, led by Georges Niang's 17 points. Dustin Hogue finished with a double-double, going for 15-10 and Monte Morris checked in with 10 points and 6 assists. DeAndre Kane, who was hassled relentlessly by the crowd, finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds, but had 5 turnovers and was an embarrassing 2-6 from the charity stripe.
I'm by no means singling the guy out, as this was a total team meltdown, but coming off a Big 12-record 48-point game on Saturday, Melvin Ejim shot just 1-9 from the field and only scored 6 points. Ejim did grab 12 rebounds, but really struggled to finish in the paint. Again, everyone struggled, so this loss by no means falls on the shoulders of Ejim.
One last final note before we put this thing to bed. I will go on record right now and guarantee that Iowa State will win its next four games, which come against Texas Tech and Texas at home, on the road at TCU and then back home against West Virginia. This team is too talented and has too much pride to let one bad loss derail a season.
Congratulations to West Virginia on a hell of a game, but enjoy it while you can Mountaineer fans because Iowa State will have its revenge on February 26th.