AMES (AP) — Nathan Adrian scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as No. 7 West Virginia overwhelmed Iowa State 85-72 on Tuesday night for its third straight men’s basketball win.
Tarik Phillip had 15 points for the Mountaineers (18-4, 6-3 Big 12), who hit 10 3s and forced 16 turnovers in winning their third road game in league play.
West Virginia’s pressure defense got the typically sure-handed Cyclones out of rhythm in the second half. A late 9-0 run capped by a layup by Jevon Carter put the Mountaineers up 70-55 with 5:36 left, sending some Iowa State fans to a rare early exit.
Matt Thomas scored 19 points for Iowa State (13-8, 5-4), which lost at home to a top-10 team for the second time in 15 days. The Cyclones lost to Kansas by four points on Jan. 16.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers kept their very slim Big 12 title hopes alive by winning a key game in a tough gym. But they’re two games behind Kansas and Baylor in the loss column — and they have to travel to Lawrence, Kansas, and Waco, Texas, in February. Still, beating Iowa State in Ames will look good on Selection Sunday.
Iowa State: Are the Cyclones in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament? Iowa State heads into February without a single win over a ranked opponent.
As of now the Cyclones would still likely be in the field, but they don’t have a ton of resume-boosting chances left. Losing by double digits at home to anyone this late in the season isn’t a good sign either.
This win can only help the Mountaineers in the eyes of the voters, though a home loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday would likely send them down a few spots anyway.
Iowa State has the most dreaded date on any Big 12 team’s schedule — on the road at No. 3 Kansas — on Saturday.