West Virginia’s offensive struggles were highlighted in James Bolden’s absence as the Mountaineers shot 39% in the first half, compared to Iowa State’s 50%. The Mountaineers turned the ball over 9 times in the half, leading to the Cyclones taking a 17 point advantage into the locker room after the first period.
Things were only marginally better in the second half, as the Mountaineers improved their shooting percentage to 44%. Even with the improved shooting, West Virginia couldn’t make up any ground on the Cyclones, who shot an incredible 60% in the second half. The Mountaineers continued to struggle with turnovers, racking up 10 in the second half, and spent most of the half with Esa Ahmad and Lamont West in foul trouble. Both forwards would foul out in the final five minutes of the game.
The closing minutes of the game saw West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins blow up on official Darron George, after numerous bad calls and missed calls throughout the game. George gave Huggins his first technical as a media timeout was called, and ejected him during the break after Huggins continued his verbal assault.
If Huggins wants to keep this season interesting for fans, he should attempt to draw two technical fouls before the first TV timeout in each remaining game.
(I’m only half joking about that.)
Lamont West led the Mountaineers with 24 points, including 5-of-7 from three point territory. Esa Ahmad and true freshman Emmit Matthews Jr. both finished with 11 points. Derek Culver added 8 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. No other West Virginia player finished with more than 4 points.
West Virginia returns to action on Saturday when they take on the Oklahoma Sooners in Morgantown. That game is set to tip off at Noon EST and will be broadcast on ESPN2.