The West Virginia Mountaineers are broken. I’ve tried to hold off on officially declaring this fact, but a 93-77 loss to the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames is enough to finally convince me. It’s the damnedest thing, really. We’ve been beating this “RUN THE OFFENSE” drum for the last few days, and it turns out that it was the Mountaineer defense that ultimately did us in. Iowa State made nearly everything they threw up, most of them lightly contested at best, and managed to do it without their starting point guard.
Things got off to an ugly start for the Mountaineers, as Iowa State opened the game with a 25-11 lead, while shooting above 75% from the floor. Meanwhile, West Virginia couldn’t get anything going offensively and the Cyclones were breaking the press with ease.
The Mountaineers answered back by going on an 18-4 run of their own to tie the game at 29-29, with 7:30 seconds remaining in the first half. Unfortunately, that run wouldn’t be good enough to take Iowa State off their game. The Cyclones, powered by Lindell Wigginton and Donovan Jackson, began knocking down shots once again.
Iowa State took a 53-43 lead into the locker room at the half. Offensively, West Virginia was solid in the final 15 minutes of the half, but the Mountaineers defense posed no problems to the Cyclones.
West Virginia scored first in the second half, but the effort was futile. Iowa State continued to get buckets. The Mountaineers toyed giving up on the press and focusing on half court defense late in the second half, but Iowa State hit a couple threes in our face and laughed at us.
Iowa State serenaded the Mountaineers with an “Overrated” chant to really rub salt into the wounds as the clock ran down to 0:00.
It should be noted that our own Matt Kirchner was right about Esa Ahmad needing to start rather than come off the bench. Ahmad finished with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Not that it matters in such a bad loss, but hey we have to grasp onto whatever positive things we can find at the moment.
Jevon Carter finished with 18 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Konate chipped in 17 points and 6 rebounds, but only 1 block.
West Virginia returns to Morgantown on Saturday to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. And when I say “return on Saturday” I mean it. Bob Huggins may actually make the team walk back from Ames after this performance. That game will tip off at 4:00PM on ESPN2.