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March 9, 2013

Mountaineers set to close out 2013 at home

West Virginia (13-17, 6-11) will close out the regular season Saturday and say goodbye to three seniors as the Mountaineers will host an Iowa State (20-10, 10-7) squad coming off an 87-76 win over No. 14 Oklahoma State Wednesday night.

The Mountaineers lost the first meeting between the two teams in Ames, when they stormed back from an 18-point deficit to tie the game before losing on the last possession 69-67.

In that game, the Mountaineers were led by sophomore Jabarie Hinds with 20 points and freshman Eron Harris with 17, while junior Melvin Ejim led the Cylcones with 16 points and senior guard Korie Lucious scored 15 points.

"We made some shots. We make some shots you'll stay in most games," head coach Bob Huggins said.

The Cyclones spread the floor and have the ability to consistently hit threes, as evident by their 17-threes in a losing effort against Kansas. And because they are able to spread defenses, they are also able to get many easy baskets around the rim.

It will be the final time on the floor for three seniors in Deniz Kilicli, Dominique Rutledge and Matt Humphrey and the Mountaineers will be looking to lock down the 7th seed in the upcoming Big 12 tournament.

"The seven is not in the same bracket as the league winner so you're not going to be with Kansas probably is how it's going to shake out," Huggins said. "You're still going to play the number two seed."

Huggins said he has not discussed any potential tournament bids in the CBI or CIT with athletic director Oliver Luck but recognized the pros would be the fact that the young players would have more opportunities to see the floor.

"We haven't even really talked about it," he said.

Tipoff for Saturday is set for 1:30 p.m.

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