Iowa State Cyclones vs. West Virginia: a matter of pride

The Iowa State Cyclones are rolling right now, having won their last three games, including a 71-60 victory at TCU on Saturday. This Wednesday at 8:00 PM ET they will get a chance to increase the winning streak by hosting the West Virginia Mountaineers, who ended their last three game winning streak back on Feb. 10.

West Virginia dominated the Cyclones back on Feb. 10, defending their home court en route to a 102-77 thrashing of Iowa State. They were simply dynamite from the floor, shooting just shy of 54 percent overall, as well as 59 percent from behind the three point arc. Forward Remi Dibo led the Mountaineers with 20 points on 7-10 shooting, 6-8 from deep. Guard Terry Henderson wasn’t far behind, going 4-7 from downtown to finish with 16, while Juwan Staten and Eron Harris contributed 19 each.

The Cyclones, on the other hand, struggled mightily form the floor, going just 26-71 as a team (36.6 percent). Georges Niang put up a 17 point effort on 6-12 shooting to lead ISU, and Dustin Hogue went 6-10 from the floor to finish with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Beyond those two, though, the Cyclones couldn’t get anything going. DeAndre Kane finished with 14, but he also had five turnovers, shot just 2-6 from the free throw line, and 0-3 from three point range.

Iowa State

Melvin Ejim can’t afford to struggle again versus West Virginia.

Perhaps most telling, though, was Melvin Ejim’s performance. Ejim was a measly 1-9 from the field, 0-4 from deep, and finished with just six points. His lone positive stat was his 12 rebounds.

The Cyclones have relied on Ejim, Niang, and Kane all year long, with guys like Hogue, Matt Thomas, and Monte Morris adding more from the bench. When one or two of those three key guys struggle, it doesn’t bode well for Fred Hoiberg’s squad. However, since this game, all three have consistently produced double figures and have carried the team to their past three victories.

The Mountaineers have lost their last two games, allowing more than 85 points in both of those contests. For an Iowa State team that has never scored less than 70 points this season, that number has to get them excited as they prepare to host Bob Huggins’ squad.

But more than that, this upcoming game between these two in the Hilton Coliseum is a matter of pride for the Cyclones. Iowa State was absolutely embarrassed back on Feb. 10, and this Wednesday’s game is a chance to remind the Big 12 and bracketology experts that the 102-77 result is not going to happen twice.

I think it’d be safe to say the Cyclones are especially eager to place that reminder in West Virginia’s head this Wednesday.