We knew West Virginia was going to muck it up (and boy did they ever), but Iowa State found a way to withstand the Mountaineer pressure, led by a strong performance from the Cyclone bench, coming away with a 79-59 victory.
Iowa State moves into sole possession of third place in the conference with the win and notched their 21st straight win at home in completing the regular season sweep of West Virginia.
The Cyclone bench was huge in the victory, combining for 32 points between Abdel Nader, Bryce Dejean-Jones and Matt Thomas. Nader finished with 16 points and Dejean-Jones displayed a terrific effort in relief, scoring 10 points while also grabbing 3 rebounds and dishing out 2 assists. Thomas scored 6 points, hitting on 1-2 from deep.
The bench battalion wasn't the only bright spot on the day, however, as Monte Morris and Jameel McKay had monster efforts as well. Morris, who's struggled mightily from outside recently, hit 4-4 from deep while finishing with a game high 19 points. Morris also dished out 5 assists and recorded 3 steals. McKay continued his stellar play since being inserted in the starting line up, finishing with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks. McKay surprisingly finished 8-9 from the charity stripe as well.
The Cyclones led by 4 at the break, but used a bevy of fast-break opportunities to build a double-digit lead early into the second stanza and never allowed West Virginia to get closer than 9 points. We knew Iowa State was going to turn it over against the relentless Mountaineer pressure and they coughed it up 16 times, but the Cyclones countered that by forcing 19 West Virginia turnovers.
Iowa State shot 56.5% from the floor, 6-16 from outside and shook off a rough start from the line to hit a respectable 21-30 from the line. Defensively, West Virginia shot just 37.9% overall, including 9-28 from deep and attempted just 12 free throws, which is unsurprising given how much the Mountaineers foul (Iowa State had 7 fewer fouls on the day).
Having played three straight Saturday-Monday games, ISU will finally get away from the Big Monday spotlight and will next be in action on Wednesday night in Stillwater against #21 Oklahoma State.