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5 Things to Know Before WVU vs. No. 11 Iowa State



Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

West Virginia welcomes No. 11 Iowa State in a big conference matchup on Wednesday night. Let’s take a look at five things to know before the game.

First Matchup This Season

Wednesday’s matchup between WVU and ISU marks the first time the two have met this season. West Virginia was close to defeating the Cyclones in Ames last season but struggled to inbound the ball, leading to an 84-81 loss.

Iowa State looks similar but with some different pieces. Head coach TJ Otzelberger continues to prove why he’s one of the best coaches in the country. ISU allows just 61.0 points per game, which is 12th in the nation.

The Cyclones are led by St. Bonaventure transfer Jaren Holmes, with 13.6 points per game. Returning guards Gabe Kalscheur and Caleb Grill both average over 2-threes per game. Another St. Bonaventure transfer, Osun Osunniyi brings a large presence in the paint, averaging 1.1 blocks per game.

Win Would Help Mountaineers Immensely

As of Wednesday afternoon, West Virginia is off Joe Lunardi’s bubble for bracketology. With a win, WVU would continue to avoid the bubble and would begin seed line talks.

West Virginia has a more favorable home stretch with ISU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Doesn’t say much in the Big 12 but the remaining road games are a gauntlet with Texas, Baylor, Kansas and Iowa State. WVU is in another must-win situation on Wednesday but it won’t be the end of the world if the result is a loss.

Can Erik Stevenson’s Hot Hand Continue?

WVU G Erik Stevenson has been on a roll in the last couple of weeks. In his last four games, Stevenson is averaging 24.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists on 46 percent shooting from the field and 44 percent from three. Stevenson has led West Virginia to a 3-1 record in those four games and back into the tournament hunt.

Stevenson has been a large part of WVU’s recent success. Can the fifth-year senior continue his run?

WVU G Erik Stevenson Takes Different Perspective on Phone Call with Mike Gansey

Betting Lines

The spread for the West Virginia-Iowa State game is WVU -3.5. The over/under is set at 134.5.

Mountaineers Home Favorites Against No. 11 Iowa State

Where to Watch

West Virginia and Iowa State will tip off at 7 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum on Wednesday. The Mountaineers and Cyclones will be on ESPN2.

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