Courtesy: cyclones.com –
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Iowa State (21-10 overall, 11-7 Big 12) held on to defeat West Virginia (13-18 overall, 6-12 Big 12), 83-74 Saturday afternoon in Morgantown, W.Va.
The Cyclones led by as many as 27 points in the second half, but the Mountaineers made a furious comeback, cutting the Cyclone lead to 76-72 with under a minute remaining.
Will Clyburn, who scored a game-high 27 points, made eight of his last nine free-throws to help the Cyclones hold off a late Mountaineer charge. Clyburn also tallied his seventh double-double of the season with 10 rebounds.
Clyburn had help from Korie Lucious, who scored 21 points behind a career-high-tying five 3-pointers.
It was a huge victory for the Cyclones in their quest for their second-straight NCAA Tournament, as the Cyclones finish regular-season play with 21 victories for just the fourth time in school history.
Iowa State wasted little time taking control, opening up an 11-3 lead after Lucious buried a couple of early 3-pointers.
ISU’s lead grew to 15 points at 25-10, but the Mountaineers answered with six-straight points to make it 25-16 ISU soon after. The Cyclones then rattled off 11-straight points to go up 36-16 with 6:58 left in the opening period.
Tyrus McGee jumpstarted the run with a 3-pointer followed by a Chris Babb trey. ISU went into the break with a 44-20 lead after Anthony Booker hit a 3-pointer in the corner. ISU was 8-of-13 from 3-point range in the first half and shot 59.3 percent from the floor.
A Lucious 3-pointer with 16 minutes left in the game gave ISU a 55-28 lead. However, WVU bounced back with 13-straight points and eventually got the lead down to six points (71-65) with 3:44 remaining in the contest.
Georges Niang then came up with a huge bucket on a 15-foot baby hook as the shot clock was winding down to give the Cyclones a 73-65 lead.
After WVU trimmed the lead to 76-72, Clyburn made 3-straight free-throws to keep the Mountaineers at bay.
ISU drilled 14 3-pointers in the game, the 19th time ISU has made 10 or more treys in a game this season.
Niang ended the game with 14 points, scoring 13 in the second half. ISU outboarded WVU, 39-24.
Iowa State will be the fifth seed at the 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship next week. ISU will play Oklahoma, Thursday March 14 at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN2.