AMES, Iowa - Exactly what happened the last time West Virginia and Iowa State played is unclear.
Well, not all of it. The Mountaineers won by 25 points and scored their most points in a conference game in eight years. It was over well before time ran out with WVU leading by 32 points at one stage, the sort of performance that left no doubt it was the home team's night.
Yet something happened late in the game that was never really clarified, but will be revisited tonight when the 11th-ranked Cyclones play host to WVU at 8 p.m. on the Big 12 Network (WQCW in the Charleston area). WVU guard Eron Harris was ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul on Iowa State's Monte Morris.
It happened with 4:25 to play and moments after Iowa State's Dustin Hogue kicked WVU's Kevin Noreen as Hogue came down with a rebound. Hogue was given a Flagrant 1, though it wasn't announced in the game and isn't included in the box score - and the oversight seemed to drive the Coliseum crowd crazy that night.
That wasn't the end of it, though. After the game, Morris, who'd scooped up the loose ball Hogue lost and tried to score before Harris fouled him, said WVU's Juwan Staten told Morris the Harris foul was retaliation for Hogue's kick. Staten denied it and said there was no need to get into paybacks when WVU was crushing Iowa State.
The Mountaineers (15-12, 7-7 Big 12) haven't said much of anything about it since and are understandably more worried about losing their two games since then, but they're nevertheless prepared for something different tonight.
"Our game here got a little wild, a little physical the first time, so I'll definitely be expecting some of that at their home now," Staten said. "I know their crowd is going to be pumped up. It's going to be loud. That's something we need to stress to our guys who haven't been there. They need to be dialed in from the time we step off the plane until game time."
That would include Harris, who defended his foul on Morris' face by saying he went up to block the shot and swung down on the ball, but missed. WVU coach Bob Huggins said Monday he'll talk to Harris before the game to make sure he understands what may be in store for him, but after Saturday's loss to Baylor, Harris seemed as ready as ever.
"I don't really care about the fans, at all," he said. "They don't have anything to do with me."
Iowa State is 13-1 at home this season and the loss was a 77-70 setback against No. 5 Kansas, which clinched its 10th straight regular season Big 12 title Monday. The average home crowd is 14,165, which is almost double WVU's average. The Mountaineers are 2-7 overall and 0-4 in Big 12 road games when the crowd is larger than 10,000, and they know what to expect at Hilton Coliseum.