MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Despite having the second-highest team offense in the Big 12 and the fourth-highest individual scorer, the Iowa State Cyclones could not break 60 points against the Mountaineers Wednesday night.
Entering Wednesday’s contest, the Cyclones (9-13, 2-7 Big 12) were averaging 75 points per game, but the No. 13 West Virginia Mountaineers (18-4, 6-3) were able to stifle them in a 76-61 home victory.
Entering the game, ISU sophomore Tyrese Haliburton was tied for fourth in the Big 12 averaging 15.7 points per game. WVU’s defense held Haliburton to just 12 points on 5-8 (62.5%) shooting.
Iowa State struggled as a team from the floor, converting just 23-58 (39.7%) shots and going 5-16 (31.3%) from three-point range. The lone bright spot was the play of Rasir Bolton who scored 18 points off the bench on 6-15 (40%) shooting.
The Mountaineers ran away with the game early, outscoring ISU 41-27 in the first half. The second half was not any prettier, with WVU scoring 35 to Iowa State’s 34.
The Mountaineers were led on offense by double-digit scoring efforts from Emmitt Matthews Jr. (12 points), Oscar Tshiebwe (16), Derek Culver (12), Jermaine Haley (11) and Chase Harler (14). The team shot a tidy 29-58 (50%) from the floor and 6-22 (27.3%) from three. The 12 points were the most Matthews has scored since scoring 16 against Austin Peay on Dec. 12.
The Mountaineers also held advantages in rebounding (46-28), points off turnovers (17-15) and points in the paint (34-24). Haley (seven) and Tshiebwe (10) lead the rebounding effort. It was the eighth double-double of the season for Tshiebwe.
The Mountaineer’s next action will be on the road at Oklahoma Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. After that WVU will return home to host the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks on Feb. 12.