No. 15 Iowa State Upends West Virginia
AMES, Iowa – Georges Niang did his damage in the paint and Naz Long was bombing away from the outside, pacing No. 15 Iowa State (22-5, 10-5 Big 12) to an 83-66 win over West Virginia (15-13, 7-8 Big 12) Wednesday night in Hilton Coliseum.
Niang scored a game-high 24 points, his eighth 20-point game of the season, and Long tallied 15 points behind five triples in the victory.
ISU’s other star was true freshman Monte Morris. The rookie dished out a career-high 12 assists to break ISU’s freshman single-game assist mark. Jeff Hornacek, Gary Thompkins and Will Blalock formerly held the record with 11 each. Morris had five points, seven rebounds and zero turnovers in 38 minutes of action.
Iowa State held a six-point lead at the half (39-33) after leading by as much as 14 points in the first period.
The Cyclones fell down 9-4 early, but then went on a 24-5 run over a nine-minute stretch to take a 28-14 lead. Naz Long buried a couple of 3-pointers in the run.
Juwan Staten helped the Mountaineers close the gap by the end of the half by scoring 12 points in the opening period.
Iowa State led by 11 points early in the second half until Melvin Ejim was called for a foul and then a technical after arguing the call with 17:13 left in the game. It was his third and fourth foul, and the Mountaineers quickly closed the gap to four points as Ejim went to the bench.
Long and then Niang hit back-to-back treys to put ISU back up by 10 points (59-49) with 11:58 remaining in the game.
WVU never really threatened the rest of the way. ISU had the answer, especially Long, who made the big treys when the Cyclones needed them.
Keys to the Game
Shooting. The Cyclones turned the tables in shooting percentage from the previous outing between the two teams. In Morgantown, the Cyclones shot just 36.6 percent from the field and the Mountaineers made 53.8 percent. It was a different story tonight. ISU shot 50.8 percent and held WVU to just 35.8 percent.
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Cyclone Game Ball Goes to…
Naz Long. The Cyclone sharpshooter made the big 3-pointer multiple times in the victory. Every time it looked like WVU was closing the gap, Long came up with the timely triple. Long was 5-of-7 from 3-point range, his second-best effort from downtown in his career.
Cyclone Nation, who was your player of the game? Tweet the player along with the hashtag #CyclONEgameball to @CycloneMBB and we'll announce the fan's pick on Thursday morning.
*Melvin Ejim played in his 126th career game, tying for second all-time with Stevie Johnson, Julius Michalik and Fred Hoiberg.
*Georges Niang scored in double figures for the 13th-straight game with 24 points.
*Niang recorded his eighth 20-point game of the season.
*Monte Morris had a career-high 12 assists, the seventh-straight game with five or more dimes.
*Morris’ 12 dimes breaks the ISU freshman mark for assists in a game.
*Ejim had seven points to give him 1,499 in his career and move past Bill Cain to No. 14 on ISU’s career scoring list.
*Morris tied a career high with seven rebounds.
*Naz Long buried five 3-pointers, the fifth time in his career he’s made four or more treys in a game.
*ISU is the only team in the nation to score 70 points or more in every game this season.
*Fred Hoiberg won his 84th game in his fourth season as head coach, tying the best four-year mark by a Cyclone head coach with Larry Eustachy, who won 84 games from 1998-2002.
*ISU has won 10 or more league games in three straight seasons for the first time in school history.
Tweet of the Game
Naz Long is a #flamethrowerhttps://twitter.com/search?q=%23flamethrower&src=hash">#flamethrower>������#onfirehttps://twitter.com/search?q=%23onfire&src=hash">#onfire> https://twitter.com/CycloneMBB">@CycloneMBB> ������— Wally Szczerbiak (@wallyball) https://twitter.com/wallyball/statuses/438866216699330560">February 27, 2014
Iowa State travels to Kansas State on Saturday. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU.