AMES, Iowa (AP) – Donovan Jackson scored 25 points, Lindell Wigginton added 22 and Iowa State upset 15th-ranked West Virginia 93-77 on Wednesday night, sending the short-handed Mountaineers to their fifth loss in six games.
Cameron Lard scored 18 points with 13 rebounds for the Cyclones (12-9, 3-6 Big 12). They took advantage of the absence of West Virginia’s Daxter Miles Jr. (illness) by handing the Mountaineers (16-6, 5-4) their biggest defeat since a 23-point blowout at the hands of Texas A&M in the opener.
The Cyclones had West Virginia playing catch-up from the opening tip.
The Mountaineers caught them just once – but were never able to overtake them.
West Virginia fell behind 25-11 after allowing Iowa State to hit 10 of its first 13 shots. The Mountaineers rallied with an 18-4 run, but the Cyclones answered with a 24-11 spurt and went back ahead 53-40.
Iowa State continued its torrid shooting in the second half. Jackson’s fifth 3 gave it a 74-60 lead, and Wigginton’s drive at the end of the shot clock made it 84-70 with 4:38 left.
The Cyclones committed just eight turnovers against the league’s leader in turnover margin despite missing point guard Nick Weiler-Babb to knee tendinitis.
Jevon Carter scored 18 points and Esa Ahmad and Sagaba Konate each had 17 for West Virginia.
THE BIG PICTURE
West Virginia: The Mountaineers aren’t exactly in a tailspin, considering its previous four losses came against No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 7 Kansas, TCU and No. 21 Kentucky. But the fact that the Cyclones had no problem breaking their vaunted press without Weiler-Babb in the lineup is a bad sign heading into February. West Virginia clearly missed Miles, who is second on the team with 12.8 points a game.
Iowa State: Coach Steve Prohm had to be encouraged by his team’s effort after a 68-45 home loss to Tennessee that left he and his players calling the Cyclones “soft” more than once. Iowa State showed resolve against a team that had won four of the previous five meetings in the series.
If West Virginia can’t beat Kansas State on Saturday, it might find itself on the outside looking in on Monday.
West Virginia: hosts the Wildcats on Saturday.
Iowa State: plays at Baylor on Saturday.
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