West Virginia overcame a horrible night shooting on the floor by making nine of their last 12 3-point shots, but Georges Niang overcame two quick fouls that knocked him out of the first half and kept Iowa State’s 17-game winning streak alive in Hilton Coliseum.
Niang finished with eight points and two rebounds for the Cyclones (12-4, 2-1), but he hit two key shots late in the game, including the game-winning shot, which was a wide-open shot inside from Will Clyburn, with under three seconds to go. He made an earlier dunk with 5:32 remaining to extend the lead to 58-49 and blew a kiss to the student section.
Along with Clyburn’s lone assist, he broke open the scoring inside with two monster dunks. The first dunk was Iowa State’s first two-point basket after their first four baskets were all 3-point shots. The Cyclones finished shooting 41.8 percent from the field, and made 8-24 3-point shots, all led by Melvin Ejim.
Ejim finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out late in the game. This was Ejim’s seventh double-double this season. He sparked the Cyclones early in the second half and helped them get to an 18-point lead before a furious comeback attempt by West Virginia.
The Mountaineers (8-8, 1-3) missed their first 12 3-point shots, then went 9-12 from the perimeter and actually outscored Iowa State. Eron Harris and Matt Humphrey led the team making a combined 7-11 from the 3-point line. It was Jabarie Hinds, who led the team with 20 points, that made the 3-point shot that tied it all up at 67.
Iowa State survives a scare and luckily didn’t have to learn the hard way that playing for all 40 minutes is pivotal in conference play. These teams have enough talent to beat anyone on any night, and this was a classic case of a team that got too confident after getting up big in the second half.
The Cyclones will head out on the road to the state of Texas where they will play TCU this Saturday. Tipoff is at 12:45 p.m. CT, and it will be regionally televised by the Big 12 Network.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Clones Confidential. Get more Cyclones coverage by following us on Twitter.