MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia had its best shooting half and second-highest shooting percentage in a game in Saturday's loss to No. 16 Kansas State.
That followed what had been a particularly inspiring second half and overtime performance in Wednesday's comeback win at Texas.
A sudden trend for WVU (8-7, 1-2 Big 12) is a habit for Wednesday's opponent.
Iowa State (11-4, 1-1) leads the Big 12 in a list of offensive categories, but the Cyclones do their best work in a hurry. They're tops in scoring, possessions per 40 minutes, field goals attempted and made and 3-point baskets attempted and made.
"I think that's our philosophy," Coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We really want to try to get the ball up and down the floor and score before the defense gets set."
Iowa State averages 82.5 points per game, which is No. 5 nationally.
The Mountaineers (68 points per game) have been above 80 points just twice.
The Cyclones average 73.5 possessions and have made 21 more shots and attempted 78 more shots than the next team in the league in the same number of games, but they're also third in field-goal percentage (45.3) and 3-point percentage (36.3).
"The big thing is to try to get guys to go out there and play with confidence," said Hoiberg, one of the most popular players in Iowa State history and a 10-year NBA veteran with the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. "I played for two of the best all-time as far as pumping us up on the floor and making me go out and play with confidence in Larry Bird and Kevin McHale.
"Those guys were able to get us out there playing with the swagger and the confidence you have to have if you're going to be a good shooting team."
It spreads to other areas, as well.
The Cyclones lead the league in rebounds (42.6 per game) and rebounding margin (plus-8.9) as well as assists (16.9 per game).
"It starts with rebounding, and controlling the glass gives us an opportunity to get out in transition," Hoiberg said. "I think our spacing has been very good on the break and Korie Lucious is making very good decisions. He's taking steps in the right direction and doing a great job running the show."
Lucious is one of five Division I transfers on the roster and one of four playing this season. The former starting point guard on Michigan State's 2010 Final Four team, Lucious averages 5.4 assists per game.
The Mountaineers are plus-3.5 in rebounding margin and average 14.9 offensive rebounds per game, the same as Iowa State. They allow opponents 6.5 fewer possessions a game than what the Cyclones average.
"No doubt about it, this will be the most physical team we've played all year," Hoiberg said. "They lost a heart-breaker against Kansas State this weekend, so as a team I know they're going to be prepared. I have so much respect for Bob Huggins and the way his guys play for him.