The West Virginia men’s basketball team will be looking to snap its current cold streak when the Mountaineers take on the depleted Iowa State Cyclones on Tuesday at 9 p.m.
The Cyclones (12-17, 5-11 Big 12) are coming off a 12-point loss on the road against Oklahoma State and will look to defend their home court, where they have picked up 11 of their 12 total wins this season.
WVU (19-10, 7-9) will be going against an Iowa State team that has lost its best player in Tyrese Haliburton, who leads the team in points, rebounds and assists. He suffered a fractured wrist on Feb. 8.
Since he has been out, the Cyclones have still been able to win two games: a blowout victory against Texas and a close game against TCU, both at home.
With Haliburton out, Iowa State will rely on production from sophomore Rasir Bolton, who averages 14.4 points per game and is the team’s active leader.
Inside, they will rely on offense from senior Michael Jacobson and junior Solomon Young, who combine to average 17.4 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game.
The Mountaineers will look to benefit from their inside game as Iowa State possesses a negative rebounding margin this season. WVU averages over 40 rebounds per game, while the Cyclones only average around 34.
To capitalize on this, freshman Oscar Tshiebwe and sophomore Derek Culver will need to have an impactful performance. The inside duo combines to score 21.4 points and pull down 17.8 rebounds per game.
WVU has also been struggling mightily in their recent cold streak to make shots, only shooting 16% from three in their last four games combined.
Junior Taz Sherman and sophomore Sean McNeil have been the only players who have been able to make more than one, with two total threes coming from players outside of that duo. Senior Jermaine Haley hit a buzzer beating three before halftime against Oklahoma State and freshman Miles McBride hit a three in the last game against Oklahoma.
Against the Sooners, the Mountaineers shot only 34% from the field, 16% from three and 53% from the free throw line. Making shots will be a key if WVU will be able to end a losing streak of six straight losses on the road. They have also lost six of the last seven overall, including three straight.
The game on Tuesday is set to tip at 9 p.m. and will be nationally televised on ESPNU.