Iowa State routs WVU; Huggins ejected
AMES, Iowa — Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton leapt into the lane to steal a pass, sprinted down the court and got fouled. He then casually flipped the ball underhanded toward the basket from 30 feet — and found the bottom of the net.
It was that kind of night for Wigginton, who has transitioned from a starter on a losing team to a lethal weapon off the bench for a winning one.
Wigginton scored a season-high 28 points, and 20th-ranked Iowa State cruised past West Virginia, 93-68, on Wednesday night, its fourth win in five games.
Wigginton’s previous high for points this season was 18 on Saturday in a top 25 road win at Mississippi, a sign he is finally 100-percent back from the foot injury that cost him most of the non-conference season.
“When you’ve got players and coaches that believe in you, you’re going to give it your all,” said Wigginton, a preseason all-league pick. “Your confidence is going to stay high.”
Marial Shayok scored 18 points for the surging Cyclones (16-5, 5-3 Big 12), who shot 26 of 39 inside the 3-point line and 29 of 33 from the free-throw line.
After a sluggish start, Iowa State closed the first half on 18-6 run to jump ahead by 17. West Virginia hung around, even using its shelved press defense to confuse the Cyclones and pull to within 61-51 with just under 10 minutes left.
Iowa State then hit seven straight shots, a stretch capped when Wigginton’s three-point play made it 74-56 with 6:12 to go.
Nick Weiler-Babb had 14 points with six rebounds and four steals for the Cyclones.
“We hit our struggles earlier in the season and got those out of the way,” Weiler-Babb said. “Now we’re getting our guys back to full health. Lindell is coming back (and) probably getting a little rhythm back.”
Lamont West led West Virginia (9-12, 1-7) with 24 points. The Mountaineers committed 19 turnovers and didn’t score once on a fast break.
“No knock on them, but everyone shoots a high percentage against us,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.
Huggins was ejected from the game with 3:28 left for arguing with the officials, and he had to be restrained by an assistant on his way back to the locker room.
“I’m trying to say this so I don’t get in trouble. I just think things ought to be equitable,” Huggins said of the calls that ended his night. “I thought our guy got knocked down. Obviously, they didn’t, so we had a difference of opinion.”