MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Kedrian Johnson tied a career high with 22 points, and West Virginia held off No. 11 Iowa State 76-71 on Wednesday night.
Emmitt Mathews added a season-high 20 points for the Mountaineers (15-9, 4-7 Big 12), who have won five of seven to get their season moving in the right direction after they dropped five in a row during one stretch.
The Cyclones (16-7, 7-4) missed a chance to move into a first-place tie with No. 5 Texas, which lost at Kansas on Monday night.
Iowa State trailed for most of the game. Jaren Holmes made the Cyclones’ only field goal in the final five minutes, a bank shot that put Iowa State ahead 71-70 with 1:28 remaining. But Iowa State didn’t score again.
West Virginia’s Joe Toussaint made two free throws on the ensuing possession. After Iowa State missed a pair of shots, Johnson threw the ball away in the lane for West Virginia. Iowa State’s Caleb Grill then missed a contested layup on the fast break with 12 seconds left.
After Toussaint made two more free throws, Iowa State still had a chance to tie the score. But Holmes was called for an offensive foul with 4.5 seconds left, and Matthews made two free throws for the final margin.
Holmes led the Cyclones with 18 points. Freshman Tamin Lipsey had a season-high 16 points and Grill added 13.
Coming off a big home win over No. 9 Kansas, Iowa State committed eight early turnovers and trailed by as many as 15 points against the Mountaineers in the first half.
Iowa State: The Cyclones have lost five straight games on the road.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers got another statement win they sorely needed to build a possible NCAA Tournament resume. West Virginia has beaten Iowa State in seven of their last eight meetings.
Iowa State: Hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Cowboys beat the Cyclones 61-59 on Jan. 21 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
West Virginia: Plays at Texas on Saturday. The Longhorns won the earlier meeting 69-61 in Morgantown.