Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

January 17, 2013

West Virginia comeback falls short

Iowa State holds on, wins 69-67

AMES, Iowa —  

The Cyclones made holding an 18-point lead look extremely difficult — and the game-winning bucket look extraordinarily easy.
 
Freshman Georges Niang hit a wide-open layup with 2.5 seconds left off a brilliant feed from Will Clyburn and Iowa State beat West Virginia 69-67 Wednesday night.
 
Melvin Ejim had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Cyclones (12-4, 2-1 Big 12), who survived an unexpectedly wild finish for their second straight win.
 
“”I thought he made a heck of a play to find Georges in there all by himself,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said of Clyburn, whose only assist of the night was the biggest one of the season for the Cyclones. “I was pretty confident. Georges is as good of a finisher as we have on the team.”
 
Iowa State opened the second half with an 18-4 run and led by as much as 56-38.
 
That’s when it all started to fall apart.
 
The Mountaineers (8-8, 1-3), who had missed their first 12 3-point tries, hit nine of their last 12.
 
Jabarie Hinds capped the stunning hot streak with a 3 to tie it 67-all with 11.6 seconds left. But Clyburn spun from two defenders and found Niang for what was essentially an uncontested game-winner underneath the basket.
 
“They caught a rhythm, and they made tough shots,” Hoiberg said. “They hit from 25, 26 feet with a hand in their face. If they hit those shots, you shake their hand. I’m thankful we got this win.”
 
Hinds had 20 points for West Virginia. Juwan Staten, the Mountaineers second-leading scorer, had seven points and seven assists after being benched by coach Bob Huggins for the previous three halves.
 
“I thought he was very good,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said of Staten.
 
The same couldn’t be said for many of Staten’s teammates for much of the game.
 
The Mountaineers kept it close for a while because of their defense. But couldn’t do much of anything on offense until the final minutes.

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