A double-double from Oscar Tshiebwe helped boost the 13th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers over the Iowa State Cyclones, 76-81, to keep their undefeated home streak alive.
Tshiebwe hit double-figures for the 13th time this season, finishing the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while making 7 of his 9 field goals.
The Mountaineers got off to a red-hot start out of the gate, going 10-of-13 in the first 10 minutes of the half. That strong shooting display did not last long, as they’d cool off to finish the half at a still-high 59 percent. Emmitt Matthews led the Mountaineers in his own return to the top of the scorers’ column, hitting double figures before halftime.
Iowa State couldn’t get much going offensively in the first half. Tyrese Haliburton, who leads the Cyclones in several stats on the season, couldn’t get much going, so his team looked to Rasir Bolton for some scoring.
The Cyclones’ struggles were a result of some strong Mountaineer defense. WVU forced 12 first-half turnovers, turning those opportunities into 15 points.
The second half was sloppier than the first for the home team. West Virginia wasn’t able to force as many turnovers (they didn’t force one until 13:22 was left in the half). Their shooting dipped as well, as they made just 41.9 percent of their second-half field goals.
West Virginia’s bench wasn’t quite as productive as usual. The Mountaineers got just 19 points from their bench (as opposed to their season average of 33.5), with the only double-figure scorer being Chase Harler, who finished with 14 points.
“My teammates have gotten me the ball in good positions,” Harler said. “The scoring, I need to get in the gym a little bit more and start making some shots.”
That allowed their starters to thrive offensively. Tshiebwe led the way for WVU offensively, with Matthews, Derek Culver (both 12 points) and Jermaine Haley (11) all hitting double-digits. Jordan McCabe finished with 6 points from 2-for-4 shooting.
“It may be his best all-around game…and he was guarding…the most NBA-ready prospect [in the Big 12],” said Bob Huggins.
Haley did his best to lock up ISU’s Haliburton, a projected NBA lottery pick, and held him to 12 points. Bolton paced the Cyclones with 18.
Next up, the Mountaineers head to Norman, Oklahoma to face the Oklahoma Sooners, hoping to get a road win back on their record.