No. 14 West Virginia suffered its first loss in Big 12 play Saturday night, falling to No. 17 Iowa State, 74-72.
West Virginia began the game with spotty shot selection. With 12:43 to play in the first, the Mountaineers were shooting just 20 percent from the field and connected on just one three-pointer courtesy of Daxter Miles Jr.
The Cyclones jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the early going.
The Mountaineers managed to climb back in it, though. Devin Williams and Jon Holton began to take control underrate the basket with two put-backs. West Virginia still trailed 18-14 with 7:34 to play in the first half.
Jan 10, 2015; Morgantown, WV, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Jameel McKay (1) dunks the ball against West Virginia Mountaineers guard Jevon Carter (2) and forward Devin Williams (5) during the second half at the WVU Coliseum. Iowa State won 74-72. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
It was a rough first half of shooting for head coach Bob Huggins’ team. The Mountaineers were 3-15 (20 percent) from behind the arc.
“We didn’t pass the ball,” said Huggins. “We had guys open and we didn’t pass the ball. We struggled to make shots a times.”
WVU finished the game 22-68 (32 percent) from the floor and 7-29 (24 percent). Staten led the team in scoring with 23 points.
The Mountaineers, however, put together a string of jump shots down the stretch. A jumper from Juwan Staten and three-pointers from both Staten and Gary Browne allowed WVU to cut the Cyclones’ lead to just one, 31-30.
After a pair of free throws from Staten, West Virginia tied the game going into the half, 32-32.
West Virginia and Iowa State traded three-pointers to begin the second half. Browne buried one for WVU while Georges Niang connected for the Cyclones.
The Cyclones strung together a few baskets in the early-going, giving them a 42-37 lead with 15:20 remaining in the game.
The shooting woes followed the Mountaineers into the second half. With 11:52 remaining, WVU was 2 for its last 9 shots from he field.
A three-pointer from Jaysean Paige and a pair of free throws from Tarik Phillips got things back on track for WVU. The Mountaineers trailed by only three with 9:43 left to play.
Another three-point-jumper from Paige tied the game at 55. Three straight turnovers from the Cyclones allowed the Mountaineers to knot things up.
With just under four minutes remaining, Iowa State’s Abdel Nader hit a contested there-pointer from the corner. The Cyclones muscled up a 64-60 lead late in the game.
A huge steal from Gary Brown via the full court press gave WVU the ball with 52.1 seconds, down one. After a timeout, the Mountaineers failed to score a basket, allowing Bryce DeJean-Jones to run the court and score an easy layup.
A pair of free throws from Holton brought the Mountaineers within one, but the Cyclones were able to beat the press as Nadar was fouled and sank two free throws.
Williams then was found after a missed shot by Staten — Williams made both free throws giving Iowa State a 73-72.
Iowa State was able to hang on and beat West Virginia 74-72.
The Mountaineers will welcome in Oklahoma on Tuesday, tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.