AMES — West Virginia’s Eron Harris simply walked away.
There would be no late-game retaliatory punch of any kind from the Mountaineers guard Wednesday against Iowa State — unlike the last time when he teed off on the Cyclones’ Monte Morris and was summarily ejected.
Instead, as the closing seconds melted off, ISU’s DeAndre Kane took the air out of the ball in a chippy, payback-powered 83-66 win before a jacked-up crowd of 14,384 at Hilton Coliseum.
“Revenge,” said Kane, who scored 17 points and secured 11 rebounds as the No. 17 Cyclones avenged a 25-point loss Feb. 10 at Morgantown. “That’s exactly what that was.”
But was Kane tempted to drive for a basket — even as the disinterested Mountaineers conceded, leaving an open lane to the hoop?
“I was definitely tempted,” he said, eventually forming a smile. “You watched the game down there, they kept their starters in until, what, 50 seconds left? So I was ready to go dunk the ball, but I’m more classier than that.”
ISU (22-5, 10-5 Big 12) won for the seventh time in the past eight games — a string of success interrupted only by the 102-77 debacle in Morgantown that featured a late-game flagrant 1 foul on the Cyclones’ Dustin Hogue and the flagrant-2 and ejection for Harris.
“We came out with the right mentality,” ISU Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “And you have to have that against a West Virginia team, against a Bob Huggins (-coached) team. If you don’t, I think you saw what can happen. It’s what happened to us down there.”
Georges Niang led the Cyclones with 24 points, including 15 in the first half as ISU built a 39-33 lead.
The sophomore also lost five turnovers, which he self-deprecatingly pointed out.
“I was surprised coach kept giving me the ball,” Niang said, before turning to Monte Morris, his point guard.
Morris dished out a Cyclone freshman record 12 assists and had zero turnovers.
“He really made me look good,” Niang said.
Morris, the Big 12’s leader in assist-to-turnover ratio demurred (with an assist) when asked about his dozen dimes and seven rebounds.
What stood out in his stat line?
“83-66,” ISU Coach Fred Hoiberg suggested softly.
“The win,” he said. “That’s all.”
The Cyclones shined inside and out, building a 46-24 edge in points in the paint and shooting 9 of 20 from 3-point range while holding West Virginia (15-13, 7-8) to 5 of 20 from beyond the arc.
And Melvin Ejim?
The Big 12’s leading scorer and strong player of the year candidate?
He had seven points and seven rebounds, but sat 15 minutes in the second half with four fouls — two of which came on one play that led to a technical.
“We won that game with our leading scorer not even playing — he played only 20 minutes,” Kane said. “We still came away with the ‘W’. That tells you how deep we are.”
Hogue swept away five offense rebounds, while adding 15 points.
Naz Long hit five 3-pointers, his highest long-distance output since the season opener.
But the numbers always circled back to Hoiberg’s post-game words of coaching: “83-66.”
That hardly rhymes with revenge, but it certainly coincided with it for Kane.
“We owed those guys,” he said.
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