Miles scores 23, No. 10 WVU beats No. 24 Iowa State 87-76
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Daxter Miles Jr. was determined to give West Virginia’s five seniors a proper send-off in their final home game.
He also boosted the Mountaineers’ mindset heading into the Big 12 Tournament.
Miles tied a career high with 23 points to lead No. 10 West Virginia to an 87-76 victory over No. 24 Iowa State on Friday night.
Miles scored 16 of his team’s 18 points during an eight-minute stretch spanning both halves to help the Mountaineers jump ahead by double digits.
”It was just for the seniors tonight, man. Just for the seniors,” said Miles, a junior. ”My teammates were passing me the ball. Momentum man, feeding off each other.”
Iowa State coach Steve Prohm singled out Miles’ play but said it was his hustle going after missed shots that stood out.
”I mean, six offensive rebounds,” Prohm said. ”That’s what really hurt us.”
The Mountaineers (24-7, 12-6 Big 12) clinched the second seed in next week’s conference tournament behind top-ranked Kansas.
Iowa State (20-10, 12-6) can earn the third seed if No. 11 Baylor loses at Texas on Saturday.
”We’ve got to focus now,” Miles said. ”It’s time to focus.”
Nathan Adrian added 16 points, Jevon Carter had 13 and Elijah Macon scored 10 for West Virginia.
Naz Mitrou-Long led the Cyclones with 22 points. Monte Morris and Deonte Burton scored 17 apiece, and Matt Thomas had 16.
Iowa State had its six-game winning streak snapped and fell to 2-5 against ranked teams this season.
Iowa State has relied on some strong 3-point shooting during a solid stretch in February, and that held true against the Mountaineers. But its accuracy was shoddy from other parts of the court.
The Cyclones went 3 of 20 from the floor over the first 10 minutes of the second half. Sagaba Konate and Lamont West threw down dunks to cap a 12-0 West Virginia run for a 63-51 lead with 9:52 left. West Virginia extended the lead to 17 down the stretch.
Iowa State: The Cyclones were limited to 38 percent shooting (23 of 60), including 30 percent (9 of 30) in the second half. Iowa State also shot poorly after halftime in an 85-72 loss to the Mountaineers on Jan. 31 in Ames, Iowa.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers got some needed momentum back after a pair of lackluster performances in Texas. They shot a season-low 37 percent in a one-point win at TCU on Feb. 25 and lost at Baylor on Monday.
”This is the best we’ve done in a while of trying to execute a defensive game plan,” coach Bob Huggins said.
Morris twisted his ankle going after a loose ball in the first half but stayed in the game.
”It’s nothing major,” he said. ”I was able to run it off in a couple of possessions and it felt back to normal.”
A year ago, Morris injured his right shoulder in the season finale against Kansas and was limited in a Big 12 Tournament loss to Oklahoma.
Iowa State didn’t bring a player off its bench until more than six minutes were gone in the game. By then, West Virginia had gone through most of an 11-player rotation. The Mountaineers’ bench outscored the Cyclones’ 57-4.
In their final home game, seniors Adrian, Tayvon Myers, James Long and Tarik Phillip combined for the Mountaineers’ first 13 points before Miles took over. Long hit a 3-pointer to open the scoring in his first career start.
West Virginia’s Esa Ahmad returned after missing three games with lower back spasms. He went 1 of 6 from the floor and finished with five points.
Both teams play in the conference tournament Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri. Their opponents will be determined after Saturday’s final Big 12 regular-season games. Iowa State has won two of the last three Big 12 Tournament titles.
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