Cyclones seek big retribution for embarrassment in Morgantown

Terry Henderson scored 16 points in West Virginia’s 102-77 rout of Iowa State, but the school tweeted that he’ll miss Wednesday night’s game with a lingering illness.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia players certainly remember the Feb. 10 win over Iowa State, seeing as how they celebrated by jumping into the student section and haven’t won since.

Iowa State also remembers that night clearly, from WVU dominating the final score 102-77 to the MMA-style kick-and-hammer sequence that occurred late in the blowout.

As the teams prepared to rematch Wednesday night in Ames, the first meeting remained a spot of contention and incentive.

“Both teams have a bitter taste in their mouths about what was going on at the end of that game,” said Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim.

To recount, the chippiness started with West Virginia up by 30 in the late stages when ISU forward Dustin Hogue grabbed Eron Harris by the throat while scrapping for a rebound. Two possessions later, Hogue skied for an offensive rebound and jutted out his leg to kick WVU’s Kevin Noreen in the chest. Hogue then passed to the cutting Monte Morris, who was cracked across the shoulder and neck by Eron Harris.

Harris was ejected with a Flagrant 2 foul and Hogue received a Flagrant 1.

Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg, asked this week about the blowout result and the game’s overly physical conclusion, said his team remembers both aspects so well, “That’s something I don’t have to bring up.”

West Virginia hadn’t scored 102 points in a league game since 2006, and certainly hadn’t overpowered such a quality opponent in its brief Big 12 history. Iowa State hadn’t lost by such a wide margin since February 2011, Hoiberg’s first season as coach.

The Cyclones have responded by winning three consecutive games since.

“Whenever you lose by 25 points to an unranked team, it should definitely wake you up,” said Iowa State forward Georges Niang. “For sure you’re going to have that date circled on the calendar. Obviously we’re excited to get them in here and get things rolling.”

Added Ejim, a conference player of the year candidate who was held to six points in the first meeting: “You want to serve back what they gave you.”

As brutally ineffective as Ejim was in Morgantown—he had a bucket on the game’s first possession and then no more—Hoiberg said the debacle hung on many shoulders.

“It wasn’t just Melvin—it was our whole team,” Hoiberg said. “You’ve go to give a lot of credit to West Virginia. They played a complete game and exposed us in a lot of areas.

“I guess there’s times over the course of the season where you have games that show your guys they’re not as good as they think they are, and that was certainly one of those nights for us.”

Tipoff: Wednesday, 8 p.m. in Ames, Iowa (Big 12 Network)
Records: The Cyclones (21-5, 9-5) beat Michigan, Iowa and BYU in nonconference play and are tied with Texas for second in the Big 12. They have gone 13-1 this season at Hilton Coliseum, which erupts with one of the league’s most energized home crowds.  … The Mountaineers (15-12, 7-7), haven fallen off the NCAA bubble for now by suffering double-digit losses to Texas and Baylor, may need to win their four remaining regular-season games to secure an NCAA at-large berth.
RPIs: Iowa State is No. 11 and WVU is No. 83.
Coach: Famously nicknamed “The Mayor” as a Cyclone player, Fred Hoiberg is enjoying another term in office as successful coach. His record stands 83-44 in his fourth season, where his alma mater is a lock for its third straight NCAA tournament berth.
Iowa State’s top players: Ejim was just 1-of-9 shooting in the first meeting, two nights after scoring a Big 12 single-game record 48 against TCU. His 18.9 points per game lead the league.  … Ex-Marshall standout DeAndre Kane is averaging 16.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and six assist per games. He made only 6-of-15 shots in Morgantown and committed five turnovers against two assists. … Georges Niang (16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds) produced 17 points against WVU two weeks ago but turned the ball over six times before fouling out.
WVU roster notes: Terry Henderson, WVU’s third-leading scorer at 12.1 points per game, was ruled out of the Iowa State game with an undisclosed illness that kept him out of Saturday’s loss to Baylor. … Eron Harris has averaged 26.5 points in WVU’s last two losses and ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring overall at 18.1 points per game. He vowed not to be distracted by the Iowa State fans who will likely jeer him hard about the harsh retaliation foul he committed against ISU. “I don’t really care about the fans, at all,” he said. “They don’t have anything to do with me.” … Juwan Staten ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring (18.0) and first in assists (6.0), but his shooting has fallen off the past two games, going 12-of-32. … Since stunning ISU with a 20-point night, Remi Dibo has scored eight points in two games on 2-of-7 shooting.
Line: Iowa State favored by 9
Prediction: Iowa State 86-66

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