MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Make that five wins for West Virginia in its last seven games.

Kedrian Johnson scored 22 points and dished eight assists, Emmitt Matthews added a season-high 18 points and West Virginia held off a late push from No. 11 Iowa State to earn a 76-71 victory in Morgantown on Wednesday.

West Virginia (15-9, 4-7 Big 12) led for nearly 18 minutes in the first half as both teams showed signs of physicality early. That tough play continued into the second half as WVU entered the bonus before the first media timeout after halftime.

Iowa State (16-7, 7-4) slashed the deficit to a bucket within two minutes of the break. WVU’s lead never grew to more than seven points in the second half as the lead changed hands six times.

Part of that success for the Cyclones came behind a switch to a 1-3-1 zone defense that gave the Mountaineer offense some trouble.

“We just didn’t do a very good job of running what we were supposed to run and we still survived it,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins.

Iowa State coach TJ Otzelberer had a tough time managing his frontcourt as those fouls piled up among his forwards. Osun Osunniyi, the team’s leading shot-blocker, was severely limited as he picked up three fouls in the first half and his fourth 27 seconds into the second half.

Robert Jones was the first to foul out, earning his fifth with 7:16 on the clock. Osunniyi followed him to the bench less than three minutes later.

“That’s generally what happens in this league,” said WVU coach Bob Huggins. “That was, I thought, an extremely physical game.”

Erik Stevenson fouled out for the Mountaineers with 2:20 left in the game. He was not the scoring threat WVU had in its previous three games, adding eight points with a 6-for-6 mark from the free throw line.

Stevenson did see limited minutes after sustaining an apparent injury in the closing minutes of the first half and was helped off the court by two teammates. He returned to the bench minutes later and started the second half on the floor.

Holmes, Osunniyi’s fellow transfer from St. Bonaventure, was the motor of Iowa State’s offense, scoring 18 points and distributing five assists. He had the ball with Iowa State’s last chance to tie but was called for a charging foul on the win to seal the win for WVU.

Freshman Tamin Lipsey scored 16 points, a career-high, for the Cyclones. He too fouled out after picking up an offensive foul just under two minutes left in the game.

Joe Toussaint might have provided West Virginia’s most important points of the game, notching four of his eight points in the final minute from the free throw line. He also contested a potentially go-ahead basket by Caleb Grill, who attempted a fastbreak layup with 10 seconds left off a West Virginia turnover.

The Mountaineers earned their fourth Big 12 win of the season and remain in eighth place in the league. They notch their fifth Quad 1 win of the season, earning an important boost to their NCAA Tournament resume.

Iowa State stays in a tie for second in the Big 12 with the loss.

WVU returns to the court on Saturday when it travels to Texas to face the 7th-ranked Longhorns. In the first leg this season, Texas handed West Virginia its most recent loss inside the WVU Coliseum with a 69-61 victory on Jan. 21.