MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — No. 11 Iowa State jumped ahead by making its first four shots Monday night.

Never has a start been more bogus.

Save for the opening few possessions, this was West Virginia’s game to dictate and domineer. The Mountaineers snatched the lead for good less than six minutes in, established a 19-point cushion at halftime and stretched it to 32 during the waning minutes.

BOXSCORE: West Virginia 102, Iowa State 77

The 102-77 clobbering was so thorough that West Virginia walk-on Tyrone Hughes wound up with as many baskets as Iowa State star Melvin Ejim.

Perplexed by WVU’s matchup zone and kept out of transition by WVU’s ability to score, the Cyclones’ heretofore explosive offense was powerless to play catch-up. Instead it succumbed more meekly than anyone could have anticipated—crippled by sloppy passes, an inability to convert close-up shots and downright abysmal 3-point shooting.

West Virginia, meanwhile, was lethal from behind the arc in making 13-of-22. That matched the season’s previous best 3-point output, achieved against Loyola-Maryland during the developmental days of first semester. If memory serves, the WVU players did not climb into a jubilant student section after beating Loyola-Maryland.

But after demolishing Iowa State, which began the night brandishing a shiny No. 7 RPI, there was a more tangible sense of accomplishment.

MORE: Mountaineers limit Cyclones from 3-point range

“We’re still not where we need to be, but we’re a heck of a lot closer,” said Bob Huggins, whose team won for the fourth time in five games and, for one night at least, looked NCAA-worthy.

Juwan Staten made his customary assortment of terrific plays, prompting students to chant “M-V-P!” Eron Harris scored 16 points in 33 turnover-free minutes, showing tighter ball-handling than in recent games. Terry Henderson scored 16 as well, two days after apologizing to teammates for his dreadful game at Kansas. And Remi Dibo became the fourth musketeer, swishing 6-of-8 3-pointers to score a career-high 20.

“West Virginia played an excellent game by spacing and exposing us,” said Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. “We let them come out and get way too comfortable. We ultimately gave (WVU’s shooters) way too much time and did not take anything away from them.

“That was the worst effort we’ve had by far this season.”

And based on margin-of-defeat, it was the worst Iowa State loss since February 2011, Hoiberg’s first season. (Conversely, West Virginia had not won a league game so comfortably since January 2011, when it pummeled Providence by 30 in a Big East matchup.)

Many of the 8,000-plus in attendance were fretful of Iowa State generating a second-half push, yet a surge never came. WVU, after shooting 50 percent in the first half, squelched any glimmer of a comeback by sinking 60 percent in the second half.

“You’re down 19 (at half) and you’re definitely trying to be optimistic … but they just kept hitting shots,” said Iowa State’s Ejim, a 48-point man on Saturday turned six-point producer on Monday. “When a team hits 60 percent it’s hard to come back from that.”

Likewise, it’s hard to rally when even Nate Adrian provides a defensive spark, which the WVU freshman did during an 18-6 second-half run that essentially blew the game wide-open. Adrian’s first steal result in an under-handed outlet pass to Staten, who back-ironed an uncontested two-handed dunk. (Hey, even an MVP loses some bounce when he’s playing 38 minutes a game.) On the next steal, an overplayed interception at the top of the key, Adrian made sure to finish off the breakaway himself.

A couple possessions later, he rotated across the lane to block a Monte Morris layup attempt.

Said Huggins: “That’s getting to the ball. That’s what I’m used to seeing guys do. He was terrific. Really, a key to our run in the second half was his defensive play.”

Compliments aside, Huggins still delivered a chewing after Adrian fouled an Iowa State 3-point shooter with 4:24 left. Of course, West Virginia led 90-61 at that time and was in full control of the game—though not necessarily its emotions.

On the preceding play, Harris saw Dustin Hogue kick WVU’s Kevin Noreen in the chest while leaping for a long offensive rebound. And when Morris subsequently drove to the basket, Harris tomahawked the Iowa State guard on the face and neck. After a video review, Harris was ejected for a flagrant 2 foul.

“(Morris) came to the basket unguarded, so I went for the ball and I went wild,” Harris calmly explained afterward. “They called a foul and I got ejected. It’s something I can’t argue.”

What was Huggins’ response on the bench? “He said I can’t get caught up in the B.S.,” Harris said. “He said to keep my head in the game.”

It looked like an open-and-shut episode of a player self-policing, though Harris and his teammates dismissed that angle. Because the ejection doesn’t carry an automatic suspension, Harris should be available for Saturday’s game at Texas unless the Big 12 metes out further discipline.

Truth is, West Virginia had done its share of bullying Iowa State well before Harris lowered the boom.

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Comments

  • Ike

    I've said before, that if we play in the paint both offensively and defensively that we will win. That was our best game by far and I hope we remember the formula. Young men are starting to believe and stand up for themselves. Nice W team. Now go get after Texas

  • WVU FAN

    now! That is WVU basketball!!!
    Boys....keep playing like that and they can't help but to respect you!!!!!

    Let's Gooooooooo!! Mountaineeeeeeeeers!!!

    Good Job Men!!!!!!!!!

    Way to go Hugs!!!!

    • WVproud

      Much respect for the team, but none for the fans. Embarrassing that I had to turn the sound off on the game so my kid wouldn't hear the crowd chanting profanities in unison the whole game.

      • mad hatter

        you're a liar

        • WVproud

          You're an insane hat maker.

          • mad hatter

            you continue to lie, shame on you

          • Mountain Navy

            He has inhaled to much lead.

      • Chris1529

        I was at the game. What exactly was the crowd chanting besides the "eat sh*t Pitt" chant to Deandre Kane (since he is from Pittsburgh I guess cause he went to Marshall). There was a 3-4 year old girl on the guys lap next to me. They didn't take exception to the crowd.

  • Aaron

    I think of the game, my favorite part was that even though they were up 30, the Harris foul had just been called and victory was clear, when Adrian, who had played potentially his best game as a Mountaineer, fouled out, Coach was still coaching.

    How anyone can say this game has passed him by is beyond me. He's easily a first ballot Hall of Fame Coach.

    • mad hatter

      aaron , you're the one that turned your back on wvu, so fess up , be brave, and admit, you don't like wvu and you are a marsha fan.

      • Aaron

        I thought I was Shawn

        • Shawn

          No i'm supposed to be steve remember? And Hatter is Larry, William, and another d-bag i cant remember they name.

  • Aaron

    Going on national TV with about 98% of the basketball fans in America expecting a total meltdown after the loss in Lawrence and the so called Average WVU fans stating that this team would "struggle" to win 2 more games, Coach Huggins had his team ready to play.

    And play they did.

    It's always a great day to be a Mountaineer but after games like last night's it's truly great night to be a Mountaineer!!!!

    • mad hatter

      how can you be so two faced, you fair weather fan,, one time you want huggie's head , the next time you love him,,, go back to huntington

    • Aaron

      Average, this will be my last response to you as I understand your type. No matter what reasonable posters comment, you will always have something to say.

      Were you a true 'Devil's Advocate' who was discouraged with the direction of the program then perhaps you would be somewhat credible and worthy of intelligent discourse. But you're not. I could go into great length detailing what you are but everyone already knows so I'll leave it at this.

      I feel sorry for you. I hope that you can right whatever it is that has made you the person you are.

      Good luck young man. I have a feeling it's a struggle.

      • mad hatter

        i really don't care what your response was, however, you are trying too hard to conceal the fact that you are a marsha troll very bored with herd bb.
        so just crawl back into you hole, and kiss your mom good night for me

        • Truth

          Dude, everybody here knows you're the troll. Other dudes right you're sad man really sad. I kind of feel sorry for you too. Pathetic

          • mad hatter

            dude everybody here knows you're the troll. Other dudes right you're sad man really sad. i kind of feel sorry for you too. pathetic.

        • GoEers

          Mad Hatter stop using my terms such as marshall troll. I too am done responding to your stupidity. You are truly a sad human being who needs help. You're jealousy of WVU and obsession with Coach Huggins is almost a little scary. Make no doubt about it you are a Marshall fan who can't stand watching the success that WVU's basketball program is having. You are just another little brother troll who needs a lot of help. Good bye Mad Hater. You've got bright future ahead of you.

    • Truth

      I thought when West Virginia want hater would take his b**** a** elsewhere. What to jerk.

      • mad hatter

        are you sentence structured , challenged?
        me thinks so, me thinks you're the typical one eyed , mutant hill billy from logan

        • WV07

          you have no life....this much is obvious

  • OKANYDAY

    Super great win, and taking care of business. With a team effort like that, WVU can win their remaining BIG12 games. Eers that's the way to do your talking on the floor, you're not inferior to no one with at team effort like you had against the Cyclones last night. GoooooMountaineers !

  • GregG

    A big ATTABOY for Eron!!! I do not approve of "playing dirty", but in this case Eron was just exercising some good 'ol "I got my teammates back". The NCAA had better do something about this officiating. Hand checking is whistled, but drop kicking isn't called? I don't know how any of these coaches can stand this BS.

  • steve

    Currently first team out of tourny. Still work to do to get in but we have the reputation of being the team no one wants to play-and thats good.

  • John B

    Where are you William? Sweatsuit Huggins is looking pretty good wouldn't you say? A
    Top Twenty Team next year. Long Shot but with 3 more wins and 2 in the tourney...who knows?

  • jay zoom

    FINALLY it took 25 games for this team to finally jell as a team. impressive performance on all side of the ball. still long road ahead--to make the NCAA. My guess is they will have to win 3 out of the last 6 to get in.

    • Steve

      I think WVU needs to take care of TCU and Baylor at home, then will have to win at least 2 of the road games that are left. If they finish in the top half of the Big XII with some of the wins they have, there would be no way the NCAA could leave them out. A win in the finale against Kansas would lock them in, I think.

      • mad hatter

        i think we win out,,,not doubt... easy wins ahead,,,, kansas is our last home game, we should show them just what eer fever is,,, can we pass on this excitement to holgie?

    • GoEers

      Are you a fan now jay zoom?

  • Buster

    What a beat down. The mounties took Iowa State behind the wood shed and put an old fashioned country arse whuppin on them.

  • WVAtty

    Larry
    William
    Hatter

    Anything?

    Crickets

    LOL

  • Shawn H

    How is a guy getting drop kicked in the chest not a flagrant 2?

    • mad hatter

      and how did they miss that, the first time around

      • jeepster

        yeah,and to add insult to injury, the lame announcers refused to acknowledge that the Hogue foul was flagrant. They kept on beating Harris down for retaliating. The only solution is 'Caridi on Demand'!

        • scott

          I thought the big east officiating was often suspect...but big 12 officiating is well...a mystery.

          refs do their job even semi competently, harris doesnt have to to do what he did.

  • jeepster

    If the Big 12 suspends anybody, it oughta be their own refs. That foul by Harris would never have happened if they would have called the foul on Hogue. A very flagrant dropkick !

    • Fanatic

      The refs at least owe an apology to Kevin Noreen, his teammates, coaches and the fans of WVU who had to witness such inequitable foul calling!!

  • squad

    you know somebody wrote an article at the start of conference play that showed faith in our direction and confidence that we had the ship headed in the right direction. the article predicted no post season play at all for our team,
    in fact the article was focused on how each team did in the NON conference but our writer went ahead and proferred his view on how it would end up IN the conference.
    alan, don't ever do that again and I wont have to "give you credit" when the chickens come home.
    I don't know if this is all part of the "im mad at IMG so everything sucks" mode for your bosses (did they want to hear that?)..but don't do that ever again here.
    in other words, when OUR TEAMis where they were this year, please from now on (as Groucho said): bring me a rose or leave me alone....

    no matter what happens here on out:..WE ARE BACK....

  • Earl

    Great win and it could ultimately be the game that sparked a late push, but I tend to be cautiously optimistic. Still a lot of holes in the interior that we need to get figured out. Other then that I was extremely impressed by the team tonight. Thing that impressed me the most was how Harris stood up for his teammate and lowered the boom. When a team becomes a true team instead of a group of individual players the sky's the limit. Couldn't be happier bout the win.... Go 'Eers