Men's Basketball: WVU vs. Iowa State Preview - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Men's Basketball: WVU vs. Iowa State Preview


West Virginia is in danger of once again dropping down to .500 on the season.

The Mountaineers (8-7, 1-2) have been hovering around that mark ever since starting the season 1-3, and a loss to Iowa State (11-4, 1-1) on Wednesday night would put them at 8-8.

The Cyclones, on the other hand, have won five of their last six games and have only lost to one ranked team all season. The only loss in those six games came on the road against Kansas, and they took that game to overtime.

West Virginia has suffered some close losses, too. The most recent came on Saturday, when Kansas State left Morgantown with a 65-64 win. The Mountaineers were down by one and had the ball with 21 seconds left, but never really got a good shot off in that time. That came after an overtime win in Texas last week.

Shooting, which has been a major weakness for West Virginia this season, wasn't really the problem against Kansas State. This time, the team couldn't make free throws, and that's been one of the ways they've consistently gotten points this year. For the year, the Mountaineers shoot just 39.7 percent from the field, which is 307th in the country. They'll need to be able to get back to form from the line and find success shooting field goals in order to beat Iowa State.

The Cyclones don't have a great shooting percentage, but they are sixth in the country with 82.5 points per game. They also rebound well, which could create a problem for the Mountaineers. Simply put, WVU wins when it pulls in more rebounds than the opponent, and it loses when it doesn't. It's not very often that Iowa State gets out-rebounded.

Scoring is pretty spread out for the Cyclones. Five players average double digits in points per game, and Will Clyburn leads all of them with 14.3. Melvin Ejim is the leading rebounder with 9.3 per game, and he adds 10.8 points.

Aaric Murray leads the Mountaineers with 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds. Juwan Staten is second with 10.5 points, but he didn't play the second half against Texas and then sat out the Kansas State game. In each case, it was a decision made by Bob Huggins. He will be traveling with the team for this game.

The Cyclones are also 10-0 at home this season, and they'll be playing a West Virginia team that is just 1-2 on the road so far. This will be the first time the two schools have ever played each other.

Wednesday's game will tip at 9 pm and will be televised by ESPN2.

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