Mountaineers to visit Iowa State today

MORGANTOWN – West Virginia will meet Iowa State for the first time in men’s basketball today in Big 12 Conference action.

Game time is slated for 9 p.m. and the action will be televised on ESPN2.

The Mountaineers are coming off a tough 65-64 home loss to No. 18 Kansas State on Saturday to drop to 8-7 overall and 1-2 in conference play.

“You play 18 league games and we’ve lost two at home,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. “We played hard (against Kansas State) and had every chance to win.”

The Mountaineers’ field-goal percentage against the Wildcats was 51 percent, which pleased Huggins.

“I thought we got better shots and did a better job of getting quality shots,” he said. “Obviously we didn’t get enough of them.”

West Virginia was led in scoring against Kansas State by sophomore guard Jabarie Hinds, who had a career-high 15 points.

Iowa State (11-4, 1-1) has five different players averaging double figures, led by Utah transfer Will Clyburn, a 6-foot-7 forward, who is hitting for 14.3 ppg. Melvin Ejim, a 6-6 forward, tops the Big 12 in rebounding with 9.3 per game.

“They lost a heartbreaker to Kansas State last weekend and it’s a team that you know is going to be prepared,” Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I have so much respect for Bob Huggins and the way he runs his program and the way those guys play for him. It’s going to be a great test for our guys.”

The Mountaineers are led in scoring by Aaric Murray with 10.6 ppg. Sophomore guard Juwan Staten, who didn’t play in the second half against Texas or on Saturday, is second with 10.5 ppg.

Huggins said Staten made the trip to Iowa State but his playing status is unknown.

“He’s going to get on the same page with me or he’s not going to play anymore,” Huggins said.

West Virginia will remain on the road Saturday at Purdue for a non-conference tilt.