Abdel Nadar scored 19 points to help the No. 17 Iowa State Cyclones knock off the No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers 74-72 on Saturday night in front of a raucous crowd of 12,076 at the Coliseum.
Juwan Staten led the Mountaineers with 23 points. Devin Williams had a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Jaysean Paige added 10 points in the loss.
Nadar was averaging 5 points per game and the only time he had more than eight points was against Iowa when he scored 19.
“We knew about him,” Staten said. “This is obviously the best game he’s had all season. No one anticipated that.”
Georges Niang had 16 points and Dustin Hogue added 11 for Iowa State.
Poor shooting proved costly for the Mountaineers. West Virginia shot only 32 percent from the field and 24 percent from beyond-the-arc.
The Mountaineers rallied back from eight point deficits twice but the Cyclones made three free throws in the final 13 seconds.
The Mountaineers were down by six when Chase Connor hit a huge 3-pointer. Williams scored off a rebound and Staten made a three-point play to bring West Virginia to 69-68 with 55 seconds to play in the game.
West Virginia failed to capitalize after Gary Browne stole the inbounds pass. Bryce Dejean-Jones made an uncontested layup after a battle for the rebound to put the Cyclones back up 71-68.
Jonathan Holton made two free throws with 18 seconds left. Nadar and Williams both hit a pair of free throws each before Naz Long made one with under two seconds left.
West Virginia trailed much of the first half but managed to come back from eight down to send the game to halftime locked at 32-32.
Staten hit a 3-pointer with 47 seconds to play in the half to cut the Cyclones lead to 31-30. Seconds later Williams grabbed the rebound after Matt Thomas missed his second free throw. Staten then made two free throws to tie the half.
Gary Browne broke the halftime tie with a three but the Cyclones answered with one from Niang. Minutes later the junior forward gave Iowa State its largest lead of the second half, 51-43, when he put back his own miss with 11:23 left.
Niang soon went to the bench with his fourth foul. West Virginia then hit six free throws in a row and Paige made a pair of shots from beyond-the-arc during a 12-4 run that ties the game at 55 with 7:26 left.
Browne made a free throw the Mountaineers its final lead with six minutes left. Jameel McKay scored off his own miss and Nadar made four free throws and a 3-pointer to put the Cyclones back on top 66-60 with 3:28 left.
West Virginia will look to rebound from the loss when they take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum.
Image via – USA Today