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No. 14 Iowa State beats No. 21 West Virginia 79-59
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AMES, Iowa (AP) — Monte Morris scored 19 points and 14th-ranked Iowa State overwhelmed No. 21 West Virginia 79-59 on Saturday to sweep the season series with the Mountaineers.
Abdel Nader added 16 points off the bench for the Cyclones (18-6, 8-4 Big 12). They remain two games back of league-leading Kansas with six games to play.
Iowa State blew open a tight game with a 14-2 run to start the second half. Monte Morris, who finished a point shy of his career high, led the charge with back-to-back 3s to help the Cyclones to a 50-34 advantage.
Juwan Staten had 16 points for West Virginia (19-6, 7-5), which has lost three of its last four.
Iowa State promised a renewed focus on defense after being lit up for 94 points in a loss at Oklahoma on Monday. The Cyclones certainly looked better on that end of the floor against the Mountaineers.
West Virginia didn't look bad either — for a half, anyway.
The teams combined to force 18 turnovers while committing 22 fouls in a physical first half that finished with Iowa State ahead 36-32. The Cyclones then held the Mountaineers to just two points in the opening 7:03 of the second half, and those 3s from Morris highlighted a torrid shooting stretch that proved to be the difference.
Chase Connor matched a career high with nine points for West Virginia, which shot just 39 percent.
Iowa State: Jameel McKay started for the third straight game in place of Bryce Dejean-Jones. McKay had 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocks...the Cyclones missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity three times in a row late in the first half...Iowa State's Dustin Hogue and Staten drew matching technical with 18:06 left.
West Virginia: Devin Williams, who entered play ranked second on the team with 11.4 points per game, played with his right hand wrapped up. Williams picked up his third foul early in the second half and finished with four points and eight rebounds.
The Cyclones face Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
The Mountaineers host No. 8 Kansas on Monday.