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Iowa State (20-10) at West Virginia (13-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 1:30 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: WVU Coliseum (14,000) -- Morgantown, West Virginia. Television: Big 12 Network. Home Record: ISU 16-1, WVU 8-5. Away Record: ISU 3-8, WVU 3-9. Neutral Record: ISU 1-1, WVU 2-3. Conference Record: ISU 10-7, WVU 6-11. Series Record: Iowa State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Iowa State Cyclones pay a visit to WVU Coliseum on Saturday afternoon to wrap up the Big 12 Conference regular-season schedule against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Iowa State took down 13th-ranked Oklahoma State earlier this week, 87-76, to notch its 20th win overall and second straight season with 10 league victories. The Cyclones have gone 16-1 at home this season, but they are only 4-9 elsewhere.
West Virginia has sputtered down the stretch and enters today's finale hoping to avoid a sixth consecutive defeat. The Mountaineers went on the road Wednesday night and lost to Oklahoma for the third time this season, 83-70.
These teams met for the first time ever on Jan. 16 in Ames, where the Cyclones earned a 69-67 victory on Georges Niang's layup with two seconds remaining in regulation.
Iowa State's seniors keyed a late 10-2 run on Senior Night against nationally- ranked Oklahoma State, as the Cyclones stretched a two-point lead into a 10- point advantage with just over two minutes remaining in the second half. Will Clyburn led the way with 20 points, while Niang scored 18. Melvin Ejim recorded his 13th double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Ejim (10.9 ppg) is the Big 12's leading rebounder, with 9.5 caroms per contest. He is also one of five Iowa State players averaging double figures in the scoring column. Clyburn leads the way with 14.8 ppg to go along with 7.0 rebounds. The Cyclones are particularly dangerous from beyond the arc, as they lead the nation in 3-pointers per game (9.8). They have made 10 or more treys in 10 of their last 12 games, and their total of 295 threes now stands as the single-season school record.
WVU head coach Bob Huggins has started 12 different players this season with 13 different starting lineup combinations, but all of that shuffling has yielded little success. The Mountaineers are shooting just 40.4 percent from the floor as a team, and no player is averaging double figures. Freshman Eron Harris has stepped up his play of late and has reached double figures in 11 of his last 15 games, including a career-high 25 points against Baylor. He is averaging 9.8 ppg on the season and 12.6 ppg in conference play. Another freshman, Terry Henderson, leads the Big 12 in 3-point field-goal percentage (.459) in conference games only, although he is scoring only 7.8 ppg on the season. WVU was simply outworked earlier this week, as the Sooners grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and held a key 23-8 edge in second-chance points. Harris scored 23 in the loss, while Deniz Kilicli chipped in with 20.
The Cyclones won the first meeting at home in the final seconds, and they have certainly been playing better than the Mountaineers of late. Expect Iowa State to complete the season sweep.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa State 77, West Virginia 70
03/09 10:39:39 ET
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