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Before the Storm: No. 11 Iowa State at West Virginia Preview

Iowa State travels to Morgantown to take on the Mountaineers

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State jumped up two spots in this week’s AP Poll to No. 11 after the end of last week’s strong play.

No. 11 Iowa State (16-6, 7-3 Big 12) takes on West Virginia (14-9, 3-7 Big 12) in Morgantown. Iowa State’s Jaren Holmes is going into this contest, leading the squad in scoring at 13.6 points per game. West Virginia’s Erik Stevenson comes into the contest averaging 14.9 points per game and is shooting 38.8% from three. According to ESPN Analytics, West Virginia has a 65.5% chance of winning tonight’s contest. Iowa State is a 3.5-point underdog going into tonight’s game.

Last Time Out

Both teams are coming off big wins. Iowa State won against No. 8 Kansas 68-53 on Saturday in Hilton Coliseum. Jaren Holmes led the Cyclones with 15 points, and Tamin Lipsey flirted with a triple-double. West Virginia beat Oklahoma 93-61 last Saturday as well. Erik Stevenson led the Mountaineers with 34 points and shot 6-11 from three.

Predictions & Thoughts

Iowa State has had difficulty in the last few trips to Morgantown. It doesn’t help that Iowa State is 2-7 on the road this year, and West Virginia has played very well at home. The Mountaineers are 10-3 in home games. In Big 12 league play, Iowa State is shooting an outstanding 46.3 %.

However, Cyclone fans can show faith now that Iowa State has Jaz Kunc back in the rotation. This will add to their depth. Kunc was out for some time with a broken finger.

Iowa State’s guard needs to push the tempo, knock down open shots and finish a full 40 minutes on the road considering the last road game the Cyclones played was the hard-to-forget, 23-point meltdown against Texas Tech down in Lubbock.

Overall, this should be a competitive game from start to finish. I think Iowa State takes this one on the road with a final score of 74-68, Iowa State. I expect a big game from Jaren Holmes and Gabe Kalscheur. Tre King’s offensive spark off the bench will be vital in tonight’s matchup.

Iowa State plays at West Virginia tonight @6:00 (ESPN2).