The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 12, 2014

WVU women moving past Baylor and on to Texas

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University’s women’s basketball team, coming off its first loss since opening day, has a sizeable challenge in front of it when Texas come to the Coliseum at noon today.

The Longhorns come in at 11-4 while WVU is at 13-2. Both teams are 2-1 in the Big 12.

“They have as much talent as anyone in the league,” said WVU coach Mike Carey. “Make no doubt about it.”

That is not good news for a WVU team that enters the game off a 16-point home loss to Baylor, 78-62, giving up an astounding 48 points to Odyssey Sims.

“Nothing against Baylor. They are a great team, but I thought we gave them way too much respect,” Carey said.

Sims absolutely riddled WVU’s defense.

“Going back and looking at it, we tried to stop her a lot of different ways. We tried to go over the top. We tried to run people at her. We tried to double her,” Carey said. “It always boiled down to her always having the ball at the end. Because she was hitting her 3s, we had to honor that. We tried to help, but we did not do a good job of just standing in front of her.

“We came over and tried to block it and got sideways and put her at the foul line. When we tried zone, she hit two 3s right in the beginning.

“We have to come up with some new plan the next time we play her. My philosophy has always been to let her get her 30, which she was averaging, and shut down the other people. We shut down the other people but we let her get 48.

“That’s 18 more than her average and we lost by 16.”

Texas presents a totally different problem. It comes at you with size, possessing five players 6-foot-1 or taller and a 6-foot-7 center in Imani McGee-Stafford.

“Their 6-7 post does an excellent job of kicking it out for 3s, and they have excellent shooters,” Carey said. “We’ve got to play straight up. We can’t cheat one way or the other. Their post can score, so make no doubt about it, it starts with the post.”

Junior forward Nneka Enemkpali leads all players in scoring and rebounding with 14.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Senior guard Chassidy Fussell averaged 10.4 points per game and led UT’s 3-point shooting in nonconference play, but suffered a knee injury in her final nonconference outing that has her sidelined her for Big 12 play to date. Fussell’s playing status is day-to-day.

In Fussell’s absence, guards Krystle Henderson and Brady Sanders have combined for 31 of Texas’ 3-pointers. McGee-Stafford averages 9.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in all 15 games this season. She also leads UT in blocked shots with 22 this season.

WVU, meanwhile, has got to start shooting the ball again. In the three Big 12 games to date they are shooting just 37.4 percent with Christal Caldwell, after an 0-for-11 performance against Baylor shooting only 25.6 percent in Big 12 play.

“I have a lot of confidence in Christal. She will turn it around. She’s in the gym every day. She was in the gym yesterday – our off day – shooting hundreds of shots,” he said. “Taylor Palmer has to hit her shots, Brooke Hampton has to hit her shots. I’m working with Linda (Stepney) because we need her in the game. She’s an excellent penetrator.”

Carey said the Mountaineers had a good practice coming out of the Baylor game.

“We have to regroup a little. You are never as bad as you think you are, never as good as you think you are. Everyone thought we were great after the Oklahoma State game, and everyone thinks we’re terrible after the Baylor game. You have to take that with a grain of salt,” he said. “I told the players we have to continue do what we do. We have to continue to concentrate, continue to work hard, and if we do that we will win some games.”

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel

Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations

    Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?

    July 18, 2014

  • WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’

    West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
    He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

    July 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Smallwood puts future in jeopardy

    The last thing West Virginia’s struggling football program needed as twilight was setting on Bastille Day in Morgantown was to have one of its own whisked off to the North Central Regional Jail on a fugitive warrant from another state, especially a player who had figured to play a key role in the resurrection of a program gone bad.

    July 16, 2014

  • WVU player arrested in Delaware case

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood has been arrested by university police and is being held at North Central Regional Jail awaiting extradition on a felony warrant out of Delaware.

    July 15, 2014

  • WVU hoping to add two non-conference contests

    West Virginia is nearing the completion of deals to play football games against long-time rival Virginia Tech, now in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Tennessee of the Southeastern Conference, according to a source close to the negotiations.
    An announcement is expected shortly.

    July 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: MLB All-Star game biggest celebration of top athletes

    You will pardon me if I find something else to do when the Pro Bowl rolls around, or if I try to find a “Three Stooges” marathon when it’s time for the NHL All-Star game. As for the NBA All-Star game, I’d rather watch a replay of a four-year-old Uruguay-Ethiopia World Cup soccer match in which I knew the outcome.

    July 14, 2014

  • Howes learns to ‘never settle’ as WVU administrator

    You probably don’t know much about Terri Howes, even though she is a rather high-ranking executive in the West Virginia University athletic department.
    “I like it that way,” she said, sitting in a large office at the Coliseum, decorated with pictures and memorabilia, a jar of candy sitting by the door for visitors to dip into.

    July 13, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Rich Rod’s return not impossible

    As you may guess, in the wake of LeBron James’ decision to let bygones be millions and return to his rooters in Cleveland, more than once was I approached with someone wanting to know if this opened the door for a return to West Virginia University of their once-reviled coach Rich Rodriguez.

    July 13, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Trickett best option as a leader

    In the end, West Virginia University’s decision to place the mantle of starting quarterback upon veteran Clint Trickett was less about quarterback than it was about leadership.
    This is not to say that Trickett lacks the talent to succeed as quarterback in coach Dana Holgorsen’s system.

    July 6, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads