MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — From the depths of a 27-point second-half hole, West Virginia improbably made Senior Day interesting. But making games interesting seems to be the ceiling for these Mountaineers, as opposed to actually winning them.

Iowa State shot 57 percent and hung on for an 83-74 victory Saturday, bolstering its NCAA hopes while dealing the Mountaineers another near-miss at home.

In closing the regular season with its sixth consecutive loss, West Virginia (13-18, 6-12) slipped to 3-6 in conference home games, including five losses that looked winnable in the final four minutes.

Will Clyburn scored 25 points and Korie Lucious had 21 as Iowa State (21-10, 11-7) sank 14-of-23 from 3-point range and swept the season series. But just as with the game in Ames, the Cyclones nearly squandered a giant lead.

Jabarie Hinds scored 19 points, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, to fuel West Virginia’s comeback from a 55-28 deficit early in the second half.

WVU pulled to within 76-72 after a Matt Humphrey steal led to Terry Henderson’s dunk with 48 seconds. But Iowa State put the game away at the foul line.

“We went into survival mode a little too early,” said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. “We talked about staying aggressive, but we just stood around out there and looked like we were trying to take time off the clock. That’s human nature.”

Aaric Murray contributed 11 points and three blocks before fouling out with 2:22 to play for WVU. Humphrey added 11 points, as did Eron Harris.

Iowa State enjoyed its biggest lead at 55-28 after a Lucious 3-pointer with 15:46 to go. West Virginia countered with a 23-6 surge, highlighted by 14 points from Hinds, including four 3s, trimming the deficit to 61-51.

“We just played 10 times harder in the second half,” Hinds said. “We forced them into some tough shots and got some easy fast-break points.”

After Iowa State stalled the comeback with seven straight points, Huggins was dealt a technical foul, resulting in two Lucious free throws and a 70-53 edge. That sparked WVU on a 12-1 run, pulling to within 71-65 before ISU forward Georges Niang flipped up a no-look 14-footer to beat the shot-clock buzzer.

Deniz Kilicli, playing his final home game, scored four points on 2-of-8 shooting in 34 minutes.

LOPSIDED FIRST HALF
Iowa State made 8-of-13 from 3-point range in the opening half while WVU made 1-of-8, accounting for the Cyclones leading 44-20 at the break.

“Shooting 3s, that’s our MO — we’ve got one of the highest percentages in the country,” Lucious said. “In the first half we made 3s and in the second half we didn’t, so we had to find another way to win.”

BIG 12 TOURNAMENT

The Mountaineers will be the eighth seed in the Big 12 tournament after being surpassed by Texas in the conference standings Saturday when the Longhorns beat Texas Tech 71-69 in overtime.

WVU faces a first-round matchup against Texas Tech on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Kansas City. Texas earned the No. 7 seed and will face TCU.

SENIOR MOMENT
Though Kilicli’s parents had seen WVU on television numerous times, they attended their first Mountaineers game Saturday, leading the senior forward to discuss similarities between his father and Huggins.

“When I was 15, I was used to my dad kicking my ass after every game,” Kilicli said. “I would fight him right back all the way home. He would drive the car, and I would get to the back because if he could reach me that was a problem.

“But if he didn’t do that I wouldn’t have been able to play here, because that’s exactly what Huggs does. Only he’s not driving the car, he’s in front of the plane.”

Kilicli reflected on his relationship with Huggins — one that has remained tight off the court even as through the strain of a disappointing season.

“Huggs means so much to me,” Kilicli said. “He is like my dad — that’s how I feel about him. I love him to death.

“It’s just so hard for me that I’m going to leave. He’s been there for me at every high point and every low point. We have a different type of relationship than just a player and a coach.”

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Comments

  • Jethro

    If we would just play a full 40 minutes i think we could make a run in the big 12 tournament. Only if.....

  • Phil

    This has been a tough year to be a mountaineer fan. I feel bad forTony Caridi. Imagine what it must be like to have to call these games, both football & basketball, & stay as positive as he does. I always play his audio when I watch on TV & you can tell its killing him. Thank God for the "other" sports for competing well: rifle, soccer, wrestling, etc.

  • big tom

    once beilein's boys left, huggie took us to the cellar. 13 wins, sad...18 losses sadder.
    next year won't be any better, and you say , o yes it will,,, than tell me why,,,browne, staten,noreen, hinds and the gang are as good as they will ever be.. .Harris and henderson haven't a clue about defense. they can score, but the allow many more pts are a result of never having to play def..
    well, we're nthe big 12 and huggie says we travel too much,, LOL.. give me a break,,, huggie , look in the mirror, 10,000 smacks a day, and you say you love wv.. if you did you;d give back bunches of thatmoney,,, but you won't will you...

  • john

    Don't worry Huggs is going to fix it! blah blah blah blah

  • JimBob

    Bob Huggins is a "Has Been". Time to look for a new coach who can recruit "real" basketball players. Bobby embarasses us with all his yelling at the players and officials.

  • Jack

    Another opponent. Same old story.

  • WILLIAM

    Sweatsuit HUGGINS has been a big failure at WVU! Get use to losing, because this coach can't recruit great players out of high school that plays 4 years as mountaineers. FIRE BOB "$10,000.00 DOLLAR A DAY" HUGGINS!

    • Shadow

      If you weren't born in WV, why would any good ballplayer want to go to Morgantown? Just like Real Estate, Location, Location, Location.

  • Charlie

    Seniors...thanks for representing our great university in your time with us. Thank you for all your efforts. We wish you well and God's speed in your life as you move forward from here. I would encourage you to take time to reflect on your accomplishments while at WVU...I am sure there are many...and hold them close to your heart. Life is short and difficult. I would challenge you to remember that the altimate measure of a man does not come in the form of a W/L ratio. May God bless you and keep you safe in your life journey.

  • cutty77

    55 to 28 with 15 minutes to go in the game,28 points in 20 minutes at Home,come on who you going to beat playing like that.Next year it has to better.

  • Matt Turner

    Tough season - but seasons like this build character. Plenty of work to do in the off season. Now let's here from all the Huggs-haters. You guys are truly pathetic!

    • Luke

      You are so right. The Huggins haters were at the game disguised as empty blue seats once again. I guess by the time the bandwagon got to Morgantown all of the front runners had fallen off.

      I guess Huggins has won 722 games by accident.

  • big tom

    well, thank god, only one more game.
    i feel for huggins, this team has no idea what the word defense means. they are all but helpless.
    But Huggs recruited this bunch, and next year will be just as bad or worse, just like football.
    WVU athletics has gone done tube, just not fun to watch anymore.
    Let's cancel our tourn. game and give the money to the rifle team, seems they are the only sport we have that knows what winning is.
    Just a sad sad year, and no room for optimisim, none.
    If i were head coach, i'd lee jarris and henderson, and send the rest packing, but i guess we need a few to scrimage.
    what a terrible terrible year.

  • Pickled Rose

    Tony K: "it's hard to climb back from a 27 point deficit". Huggins " We'll, we moved Dennis under the goal hoping he could he scored but found out he couldn't, so we moved him to the top hoping the guards to score, they couldn't, so we brought in a couple from the bench hoping they could score, they couldn't, so thankfully Iowa State players were tired from scoring and the game was over". After using up all of Belein's players, can this guy recruit in division II? How much do we pay Huggins for recruiting & coaching? Yes! It is his fault!!

  • Pghmountaineer

    Thank goodness. The regular season is finally over!

  • Big Larry

    I think it was very obvious to anyone watching that WVU was once again outmanned by better players. To be more specific…”SHOOTERS”.

    Bob Huggins inability to recruit shooters was the difference today. Shooters Verses Street players will win out every time. Bob Huggins has yet to recruit one (1) pure shooter since he has been at WVU (and please don’t say Casey Mitchell).

    Next year will be no different. Huggins doesn’t recruit shooters…never has…never will…not now…not ever. It’s not what he does. He recruits players to play defense. But that doesn’t work anymore as we have seen with only 13 wins.

    Will that change next anytime soon? No, I don’t thinks so. It just is what it is.

    Huggins was in his usual form yelling at the officials and the players… Huggs once again has to make Ollie proud by his antics.

    • Big Larry

      I forgot to add the fact that even though Huggins recruits street players to play defense, none of them know how to play defense. The opponents just stand out there and shoot 3's or make layups...mostly uncontested.

      Sorry, but you can't fix stupid! You replace it...Get rid of everyone from Huggins down to the equipment manager and start all over.

      Pay Huggins his Millions to keep everyone happy...But replace him ASAP...13 wins is unacceptable. Huggins has thrown in the towel...He's finished! Bring in some new Blood to turn this program around...

      Earth to Luck...Earth to Oliver Luck...The fans are not happy here...Do the right thing and send Huggins into retirement...

  • Hoffy

    Near-misses; winnable losses. Well, guess what? Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, right? The only thing that matters at the end of the day is the record, and this record isn't much to be pleased with, and says all that needs to be said about this team. I just hope all the other pundits don't waste a bunch of time beating this dead horse, because I can't imagine anything else can be said that will make a difference.
    I apologize for my negativism, fellow fans, but ya gotta call 'em like ya see 'em. We stink.
    *Sigh*

    • WILLIAM

      Sweatsuit Huggins looks terrible in BLACK and SILVER. This coach has been a failure at WVU. (EMBARRASSMENT)

      • Just D. Facts

        Much like I'm sure your family considers you William!