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West Virginia Ends Seven-Game Drought, Overpowering Iowa State, 79-63



Photo: Julia Mellett / WVSN

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The streak is finally over.

West Virginia leads the game wire-to-wire, defeating Iowa State 79-63, behind great shooting from the Mountaineers, on Tuesday night.

West Virginia (14-9, 3-7 Big 12) break their longest losing streak in nine years, tying the 2012-13 team with seven losses in a row. The Mountaineers led throughout the entire game, with Iowa State (16-8, 3-8 Big 12) not leading a single time.

The Mountaineers, for the first time in a long time, finally put together a complete game. Previously it’s been only one good half from WVU. On Tuesday it was both halves. West Virginia shot 22-of-44 (50%) from the field against the Cyclones, making 10-three’s. WVU also out-rebounded ISU, 37-28.

Just 80 minutes before the game, WVU guard Taz Sherman took the floor, shooting around. Sherman, who leads the Mountaineers in scoring, missed the Texas Tech game on Saturday due to a concussion he sustained earlier in the season. WVU head coach Bob Huggins announced that Sherman did not practice on Sunday, and it wasn’t looking promising for the fifth-year senior. Ultimately, Sherman suited up for West Virginia.

With 17:46 left in the second half, Sherman dove for the ball and dumped it off to Kedrian “Keddy” Johnson for an easy dunk. The Mountaineers had energy in both halves, diving for every loose ball and getting up on the glass for rebounds. The atmosphere in the WVU Coliseum was great; the fans were loud for every big play the Mountaineers made.

For weeks, Huggins has been giving high praise for the freshman class that consists of Kobe Johnson, Seth Wilson, Jamel King, and James Okonkwo. After the losses to Oklahoma and Texas Tech, Huggins felt regret for not playing the freshmen more. The future hall of fame coach pointed out that the freshmen beat the first strings during practice. Well, on Tuesday the freshmen got their chance to shine. Johnson started for the second time in his career at West Virginia. The Canton, Ohio native finished with three points in 11 minutes.

An 8-0 self-run by Wilson gave West Virginia an early 18-5 lead, resulting in Iowa State head coach TJ Otzelberger calling timeout. After that run, Wilson sat for the rest of the first half, before checking back into the game in the second half. The freshman guard recorded seven points on 3-of-4 shooting.

With just six minutes left in the game, ISU guard Tyrese Hunter tried getting the Cyclones back into the game, cutting WVU’s lead to 10 points. The Iowa State 7-0 run was countered by back-to-back threes from WVU’s Jalen Bridges and Sean McNeil.

Twenty West Virginia turnovers kept the Cyclones from not getting blown out. The Mountaineers could not keep control of the ball with the great defense from ISU.

Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams was in attendance for the game inside the WVU Coliseum on Tuesday night. Williams has wanted to attend a West Virginia game since retiring from coaching last season.

Notable scorers for West Virginia were Sherman (16), Bridges (14), Malik Curry (14), and McNeil (13).

West Virginia will now move on to continue the momentum when the team heads to Stillwater, Ok. on Saturday to take on Oklahoma State. The second matchup between the two will start at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year. He is from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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