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

  • Allie

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  • Keith

    Folks we need to stop looking for things to bicker about and get behind this team. If you don't have something good to say after this game you never will. Please find somewhere else to be petty.

  • 5toldU1s

    Love ya hatter! Willing to critique when things are not so good but also give credit when it's due. These posts should have something to say it gets tiresome with the same old rah rah rahs all the time. A post should have questions or insightful comments. Almost all the other sites use Facebook only and I don't use it either and enjoy posting. Please spell the players names correctly or nobody will give a hoot about what you say. Hope Aron doesn't get suspended-a flagrant foul seems sufficient!

  • Tim C

    Great Job guys.......what a game! Now let's go mess with Texas!

  • ron

    You sounded supprised that Nathan Adrian played good defense, I thought he has played decent defense all year.

  • Aaron

    Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has WV in the conversation as part of the "next four out" category and up to 65th in RPI. If they split their remaining games at 3-3, wind up 18-13 overall, 10-8 in the conference and anywhere from 5th to 3rd, they're on the bubble. If they win at least one game in the Big 12 tournament, at worst, they're one of the first four out. If they get two wins in the tournament and finish with 20 wins in the Big 12, they're a 7-10 seed in the tournament.

    I never thought they would be here a month ago when I was walking out of the Coliseum after the heart breaking loss to OK State.

    Truly a great day to be a Mountaineer.

  • Mountain Navy

    Why all the empty seats in the stadium?

  • mad hatter

    hearing that harris got a one game suspension.... anyone hearing anything about this?

  • Nancy Smith

    As a senior citizen watching the games from home and listening to the announcers it would be nice if they would check their facts before stating them on TV. Three different times I heard how DeAndre Kane played at Morgantown eariler this year. I think they assume Marshall plays their away games at Morgantown.

    • scott

      not saying its right but that goes on everywhere.

  • Shawn

    I think the only way you should be allowed to comment on here is if its linked to your facebook account. Then we would be cutting down on this chatter.

    • mad hatter

      i don't have a fb acct... i'm a twitter,,,,so now what.... you'll have a hard time finding me and i really don't care if you do,,,,just be careful for what you wish for.

      • Shawn

        Thats why it would be good to let ppl with Facebook accounts comment. Then you wouldn't be able to and we could all be happy.

        • mad hatter

          ok, i'm getting a facebook acct. but using an alias , and email address of someone elses

          • Shawn

            Ok.....you......do.....that, ......a,....man....., sounds.....good.,...

  • Shawn

    Its obvious that Hatter has some mental issues and gets his jollies off on acting like a 15 year old weirdo who has completely lost touch with reality. I really feel sorry for the guy because he's on a different planet. Its cool though because everybody should have something to look forward to and this is his coping mechanism for dealing with dumbassarie.

    • mad hatter

      shame on you.
      you nasty ,mouth

  • cutty77

    Huggy had this Team Ready last night from start to finish. Arron Harris better get his stuff together,i didn't like that Pull My Shorts Up BS at the end of the game,and i'm sure Huggs took care of it. Show some class,don't act like a A**. Keep winning at Home,then steal one on the road.

    • scott

      he was taking up for his team mate...you did see him get a flying kick in the stomach?

      The supposedly grown up refs dont do their jobs the kids have to protect themselves, and they will.

      I,m guessing Bob said...good job, dont do it again.

    • mad hatter

      at least , spell the kids name correctly, then we'll know you might be a fan

  • Mountaineer Fanatic

    I loved that game. I hope our team can keep up the good work. Lets Goooooo Mountaineers

  • 5toldU1s

    I'm thinking that few teams have guarded the 3-pointer like we did vs. ISU. They seemed surprised when a man was there in their face. Solid defense. Still need to work on rebounding. We play better at home and you're just not going to shoot as well on the road. Still a good win. Gotta try to avoid the letdown against Texas though...

  • Aaron

    It really was a great game and great to see the young Mountaineers come out and play with the passion they showed.

    After the loss to Kansas, I wondered if they would respond in the same manner after losing the first time to Oklahoma State and play with little emotion or if they would come out ready to play. They showed how much they've grown with last nights display.

    Kudos to an outstanding coaching season for Bob Huggins, who I believe should be Big 12 Coach of the Year and should receive national consideration for Coach of the Year.

    The only drawback was obviously the play involving the Noreen and Harris. While I understand Harris came to his teammates defense, after the officials missed the kick, Harris has got to learn to keep his cool. That type of move can get him suspended by the big 12 conference and really hurt his team.

    Other than that though, what an outstanding game.

    It's a great day to be a TRUE Mountaineer.

    • mad hatter

      me thinks they should double his salary, and make him king for the day.

      • Greg

        I think he already became King for a Day today. Nothing but praise for Huggs on the radio talk shows today.