West Virginia finally put an end to their seven-game losing streak after a convincing win over Iowa State on Tuesday. With ten players scoring and the ball being shared more efficiently than in their previous match-ups, The Mountaineers are finally starting to play like a team again.
Sophomore forward Jalen Bridges has gone 95 percent from the line in Big 12 play. He went four-for-four from the line against the Cyclones. By keeping up this nearly perfect free throw shooting, Bridges can be used as a secret weapon for the rest of this season and future seasons.
The Mountaineers shot 50 percent from both the field and from three, tied for their best three-point shooting percentage of the season. West Virginia also made their first four shots from three to start the first half against Iowa State.
Despite shooting the ball exceptionally well, West Virginia turned the ball over 20 times against the Cyclones, 12 in the second half. This is tied for their most turnovers in a game this season. Iowa State scored 16 points off of these turnovers, which would have been a much bigger problem for the Mountaineers had the game been closer.
West Virginia had a total of 14 assists against the Cyclones, their second-highest number of assists in Big 12 play. The Mountaineers racked up eight of these assists in the first half, more than they scored in their entire match-up against Texas Tech.
After returning from concussion protocol, Taz Sherman scored 16 points along with eight rebounds and six assists. Although this was not his most explosive game of the season, his presence was felt on the court by his teammates resulting in a more efficient game for West Virginia.
The Mountaineers held Iowa State guard Izaiah Brockington to only 11 points on Tuesday, whereas he usually averages 16.6 points per game and tends to be the Cyclones’ leading scorer. West Virginia’s defense held Brockington to only three points at the half and an overall 33.3 percent field goal percentage.
Ten different Mountaineers scored in Tuesday’s game, including freshman guard Seth Wilson, who scored seven career points in the first half alone. West Virginia had 31 points bench points against Iowa State, their most in conference play. This level of teamwork had been lacking for The Mountaineers recently, so it is promising to see so many players contribute.
West Virginia went on five different scoring runs of at least six points throughout the game. The Mountaineers’ longest scoring run was a nine to zero run early in the second half. Anytime the Cyclones began nearing in or went on a scoring run of their own, West Virginia found their groove and came right back.
One Cyclone scored more than five points in the first half; junior guard Caleb Grill scored all of his 12 first-half points from beyond the arc. However, the Mountaineers were able to adjust in the second half, as Grill was only able to get one shot off and missed it.
There were no lead changes in the West Virginia’s match-up against Iowa State. The Mountaineers’ started hot and were able to keep their momentum going throughout the game’s entirety. In the second half, the Cyclones could not even get within eight points of West Virginia.
The Mountaineers played one of their most decisive games in conference play against Iowa State. Despite getting slightly sloppy in the second half, West Virginia played such a consistent, team-oriented game that there was very little that the Cyclones could do to close the gap. If the Mountaineers keep this game-play up, they will be much more equipped to win upcoming match-ups and prevent another losing streak.