To everyone’s surprise, Iowa State finally came out with some energy in the final true road game of the season with spectacular perimeter shooting. To no one’s surprise, their 27-point lead dwindled to a dramatic finish against West Virginia in Morgantown.
Will Clyburn exploded in the first half with 16 points and four rebounds, and finished with a double-double (27 points, 10 rebounds) to aid the Cyclones (21-10, 11-7) in their second conference road win in the last three attempts. He was efficient from the field hitting 7-13 shots and made 12-18 free throws, showing his aggressive play all day. The rest of the team had six more attempts from the line.
The Cyclones did all they could to give the game away to the Mountaineers (13-18, 6-12). West Virginia started their comeback in the second half when Jabarie Hinds came off the bench. He sparked WVU with 3-pointers and led his team with 19 points, making 4-5 from the perimeter and also shot efficiently with 7-11 from the field.
Iowa State lacked ball control late in the game, especially turning it over twice in a row in the final minute and West Virginia trimmed the deficit to just 76-72. The Cyclones were able to win it from the free throw line, including Melvin Ejim’s only two points in the game. He suffered with foul trouble nearly all of the game.
Korie Lucious made five 3-pointers, tying is season-high against Florida Gulf Coast. While he finished with 21 points and was very efficient from the floor, he suffered a negative assist-turnover ratio with three assists and seven giveaways.
Despite the 19 turnovers, Iowa State hit 14-23 3-pointers (60.9 percent), shot 56.5 percent overall from the field compared to West Virginia’s 42.4 percent, and outrebounded the Mountaineers 34-22.
Regardless of whether Iowa State gets a four or five seed in the Big 12 tournament, they will be playing Oklahoma in the quarterfinal round. Tip-off is set for Thursday morning at 11:30 a.m. CT in Kansas City.