AMES, Iowa - West Virginia played short-handed against Iowa State Wednesday night. And no, it had nothing to do with Juwan Staten.
The Mountaineers lost to the Cyclones, 69-67, with Staten playing most of the game. He didn't start, but was a big contributor with seven points and seven assists in 29 minutes.
The sophomore point guard had been benched by coach Bob Huggins for the past two games, but returned when the Mountaineers (8-8, 1-3 Big 12) were edged by Iowa State (12-4, 2-1) at Hilton Coliseum.
But the Mountaineers were without freshman guard Terry Henderson, who did not make the trip here with West Virginia because of a back problem.
Henderson, who had started 11 of the Mountaineers' 15 games this season, didn't injure his back, according to Huggins, but instead has had an old problem emerge again.
"He said he had the same problem in high school,'' Huggins said Wednesday afternoon, a few hours before the game.
In Henderson's place, Huggins started fellow freshman Eron Harris.
Huggins said Henderson didn't practice for two days, or since scoring 10 points in 20 minutes of a 65-64 loss to Kansas State on Saturday.
"If he couldn't practice he couldn't play, so why bring him?'' Huggins said. "There's no sense making him sit on an airplane, sleep on an airplane, do all the things that would have made his back even worse.''