MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Though West Virginia broke the 100-point mark in a conference game for the first time in eight seasons, coach Bob Huggins was particularly proud of his team’s defense.

“This was the best, by far, we’ve been,” Huggins said after the Mountaineers whacked No. 11 Iowa State 102-77.

The Cyclones, in addition to being held eight points below their league-high scoring average, hit only 4-of-23 3-point shots after entering the night making nearly nine 3s per game. Those four equaled Iowa State’s lowest output of the season.

“We wanted to take the 3-ball away from them,” Huggins said. “When they’ve played well, they’ve made a bunch of 3s.”

Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim was 0-of-4 from deep and scored just six points, a startling decline from his record-setting 48-point outburst in Saturday’s win over TCU. He finished 1-of-9 from the floor with his lone basket coming on the opening possession.

“Did we let him get one?” Huggins joked. “We did a better job in transition defense, honestly. He scored a ton of points Saturday in transition.”

Remi Dibo, not typically regarded as West Virginia’s stopper on defense, matched up against Ejim on numerous possessions. “We just knew we couldn’t let him score 40 points on us. I think we did a great team effort on him.”

Though Ejim managed to pull down 12 rebounds, his 24-game streak of double-figures scoring ended as he came nowhere close to his conference-leading 19.6 average.

“That (48-point) game was one of a kind and a game like this is one of a kind,” Ejim said. “They did a great job defensively on me.

“There were some double-teams and stuff, but I just didn’t make any shots. … I knew it wasn’t falling for me, so I tried to grab some rebounds and impact the game in other ways. It just wasn’t my night. (WVU) made all the shots and I made none.”

Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said Ejim wasn’t alone in struggling: “Nobody played well.”

Marshall transfer DeAndre Kane was largely ineffective, producing 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting and committing five of Iowa State’s 14 turnovers—the second-most for the Cyclones this season. The Pittsburgh native had about 50 friends and family members in the bleachers, though they were drowned out by WVU fans booing Kane throughout the game.

“I didn’t pay the crowd no attention. I knew it was going to be like that—it was like at Marshall vs. West Virginia,” said Kane. “The fans are supposed to get loud, they’re supposed to try to rattle you and get in your head.

“We’re not making excuses—we got our tail kicked.”

Even Georges Niang’s team-high 17 points were tainted by six turnovers and the sophomore picking up five second-half fouls in less than 12 minutes.


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Comments

  • cyclonefanatic

    Ok, you guys gave us a beat down but wait till you come to our house, we'll return the favor!

    • Mister Man

      I don't doubt it. You guys have a great team. But, I hope we can make a run at it.

    • Tim C

      You might beat us when we come to Ames...but you better learn to do it without the 3-ball. We got your number on that one.

  • Shawn

    Classy interviews. I give them credit. Kane has come a long way from his Marshall days.

  • Teddy

    can you say SWEET 16 BABY!!!

  • jack

    There are just some games where one team cannot do anything right and the opposing team can do no wrong. Whatever the case may be, show the other team's players, coaches, and fans respect. You never know when you might be on the losing end.

  • Grandad

    ISU players showed a lot of class in post game interviews

  • blugldmn

    Kane seems like a classy kid now.

    No wonder he left Huntington...

  • tw eagle

    your guys are rounding into shape at just the right time of year coach . . . and I'm sure you know as well as Yogi Berra does , that 50%
    of the the game is 90% mental (LOL) . . .

    at the D1 level , these kids can all run, jump, shoot & dribble . . . what they need is the coach to help hone the mental/emotional part of the player . . . this is what separates the good from the great . . . WHY ? why this , why now ? after watching a hard working Mountie TEAM dismantle a good ISU squad ,
    and then ruminating over a few drams of nectar . . . boy am I mellow & in a thoughtful mood . . . how will this team improve - can't raise the bar on effort , as intense as I've ever competed , I doubt I ever reached the level that these Mounties are playing at . . .

    all your guys have talent coach . . . a few of your newbies seem to have levels of play that aren't being tapped yet . . . and they will never reach it till the BULB LIGHTS IN THE HEAD, and they realize that they OWN the court and start playing like they do . . .

    right now , you got a great TEAM that loves playing ball together - it don't get no better than that for a coach . . .

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !