For the first time since joining the Big 12, West Virginia has won back-to-back games against Iowa State. Jaysean Paige scored a career high 34 for West Virginia (21-7, 10-5) to lead the Mountaineers to a 97-87 win over Iowa State (19-9, 8-7).
The night was all about Paige. The senior guard got into the lane at will tonight and did just about anything that he wanted to do. Even with the jumper not falling (1-6 from three), Paige completely controlled the game. He was 12-21 overall and 9-9 from the line.
The first half was good, high quality basketball. Both teams shot the ball well, and for the first nineteen minutes no team led by more than six. West Virginia was up 41-38 with under two minutes to go in the half, and then Jaysean Paige took over. Paige went on an 8-0 run by himself to give the Mountaineers a 49-38 lead. They would go into the break up 49-41.
Iowa State didn't waste any time getting back into the game to start the second half. The eight point West Virginia lead turned into a two point Cyclone lead not even three minutes into the half. Like the first half, the second was close until the final few minutes. West Virginia ended the game on a 17-9 run to turn a 80-78 lead with 5:45 to go into a 10 point victory.
Tarik Phillip also had a great game off the bench. The junior guard scored 22 points on 6-8 from three and dished out 6 assists. Devin Williams had an efficient night, picking up 13 points and 9 rebounds. Nathan Adrian added 9 points.
Abdel Nader (who became a fan favorite tonight) led Iowa State with 23. Georges Niang battled foul trouble most of the night but still finished with 14. Six Iowa State players scored in double figures. Full boxscore here.
West Virginia got to the line 29 times and made 20 of their attempts. They shot 49.3% from the field and 39.1% from three. As you would expect in a 97-87 contest, Iowa State shot the ball pretty well themselves. The Cyclones were over 50% from the field and 45% from three.
West Virginia outrebounded the Cyclones 38-27.
On to the notes:
- The Mountaineers are now 3-5 all-time against Iowa State.
- West Virginia's bench outscored Iowa State's 69-10. Wow.
- If I had a dollar for every complaint about the refs on this Iowa State forum, then I could pay Bob Huggins' bonus for beating KU.
- West Virginia had nearly as many offensive rebounds in the first half as Iowa State had total rebounds - 13 WVU offensive rebounds compared to 14 total rebounds for the Cyclones.
- The Mountaineers were only called for 14 fouls tonight and actually committed seven fewer than Iowa State.
- You'll likely be seeing Tarik Phillip on Sportscenter's "Not Top Ten." Phillip had the ball in the final few seconds of the first half and shot a 3/4 court heave - the only problem was there were still five seconds on the clock. Iowa State grabbed the rebound and thankfully for Phillip (and Huggins' heart rate) the Cyclones missed a three at the buzzer.
- The Mountaineers are back into sole possession of second place in the conference standings.
Paige's 34 pts are the most ever by a WVU player off the bench. Previous was Chris Leonard with 32 vs. SBU in '90. pic.twitter.com/tEBFEpgZvV— WVU Men's Basketball (@WVUhoops) February 23, 2016
West Virginia travels to Stillwater on Saturday evening to take on Oklahoma State. West Virginia easily won the first meeting 77-60. Star freshman Jawun Evans is out for the season for the Cowboys with a shoulder injury. The game tips at 6:00 PM and will be televised on ESPNU and WatchESPN.