Matt Thomas

Matt Thomas

Coming into the season and second division finish in the Big-12 for Iowa State was unthinkable. With three games remaining a second division finish is a possibility. West Virginia grabbed control down the stretch as the 14th ranked Mountaineers beat the 17th ranked Cyclones 97-87.

Defense and rebounding have been trouble spots all year and they were on Monday night. The Cyclones shot a blistering 58 percent in the opening half but trailed 49-41 at the break.

“It is tough to win games when you are giving up that many points”, said Iowa State guard Matt Thomas. “The second chance points just killed us and that is everybody. That’s not the bigs and that is just as much on the guards as it is on the bigs. We all need to rebound better.”

Iowa State was outrebounded 43-29 and West Virginia had 18 offensive rebounds.

Abdel Nader led the Cyclones with 23 points as they fall to 8-7 and currently sit in sixth place in the Big-12 race.

“I have not been able to figure it out and it starts with me,” said Iowa State coach Steve Prohm. “I have just got to figure out a way for this team to get stops.”

The Cyclones are 19-9 overall and will host Kansas State on Saturday.