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Cyclones maintain lead over Mountaineers in December, 107-76

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What can I say, the boys played hard.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Iowa State Brian Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State battled and led for most of the second half, but ultimately fell 70-65 to the eighth-ranked Mountaineers on Dec. 18.

The Cyclones led the game 65-64 with 20 seconds left but after a couple of questionable calls and a shaky out-of-bounds play, West Virginia was able to make six free throws down the stretch.

Coming off of a disappointing loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 home-opener, there were no expectations for the Cyclones to have a competitive game, but they did.

Led by Rasir Bolton’s 25 points, Iowa State overcame 21 turnovers to lead by as much nine. Jalen Coleman-Lands was the only other Cyclone in double figures.

It was a team effort for the Cyclones outside of Bolton’s performance, the team shot an efficient 49.1% from the floor, but thanks to loads of turnovers, Iowa State wasn’t able to get enough shots off to pull off the potential upset.

All of West Virginia’s big three scored in double-digits, Derek Culver and Matthew McBride led the way with 18 apiece and Oscar Tshiebwe piled on 12 points, respectively.

Despite those performances, West Virginia largely struggled from the field and the charity stripe. The Mountaineers shot a split of just .382/.214/.676, but were able to make shots down the stretch.

Surprisingly, Iowa State was able to compete on the boards, losing the battle just 38-32. West Virginia is one of the best rebounding teams in the country, so kudos to Solomon Young, George Conditt and Xavier Foster for competing down low.

Nonetheless, with the loss, the Cyclones move to 0-2 in Big 12 play and just 1-4 overall, meanwhile the Mountaineers picked up their first conference win and moved to 7-1 overall.