AMES, Iowa – Freshman Bria Holmes poured in a career-high 18 points and West Virginia closed the game on a 6-0 run to upset No. 24 Iowa State 68-66 before a Sunday crowd of 11,951at Hilton Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (15-10, 7-7 Big 12) snapped a four-game win streak for the Cyclones (18-6, 9-5 Big 12), who got 27 points from Hallie Christofferson in suffering only their second home loss this season.
WVU shot 68 percent in the second half but trailed 66-62 with 2:38 left when Jess Harlee found Ayana Dunning for a layup. That’s the way the score remained until the 48-seconds mark when Averee Fields stole the ball from ISU’s Nikki Moody and was fouled racing to the basket. Fields converted 1-of-2 free throws to bring WVU within 66-65.
After a Cyclone timeout, WVU forced a turnover and Harlee fed Fields for another quick layup with only 12 seconds remaining, putting the Mountaineers ahead 67-66.
Moody was called for charging into Palmer on the following possession, and Iowa State fouled Brooke Hampton off the inbounds pass. Hampton made one free throw and Holmes stole the ball in the final three seconds to seal the upset.
“I thought we did a good job,” coach Mike Carey said. “We had to make it ugly because we weren’t scoring, so we had to have more quickness and try to get some traps and turnovers.
“It’s a big win for us coming off a loss at home against Oklahoma State.”
Iowa State opened the game on a 10-0 run as WVU started 0-for-6 from the field. Out of a timeout at the 15:49 mark, West Virginia switched to a full-court press and cut the deficit to only five at halftime, 27-22.
WVU finished the game shooting 52 percent, its highest field-goal percentage in a Big 12 game this season. Iowa State closed out the game with 41.3 percent (19-46) from the field and 23-of-29 from the free-throw line. The Mountaineers made 50 percent of their free throws, converting 10-of-20.
Holmes’ big game included four 3-pointers. Senior Ayana Dunning had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and Fields added seven points. Hampton dished out seven assists and added six points in 18 minutes, while Harlee had four assists, seven points and led WVU in rebounding with eight.
“I thought Bria Holmes came off the bench and hit some good shots for us for a freshman in this kind of atmosphere,” Carey said. “I want to say great crowd and great atmosphere. They do it right here. I think they deserve a lot of credit.”
The Mountaineers next travel to TCU for an 8 p.m., matchup on Saturday, Feb. 23.