The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 11, 2013

WVU women do enough to win

MORGANTOWN — There are times when a coach can put aside all the coaching and just enjoy the moment.

It doesn’t come often, but the way things had gone for West Virginia University women’s coach Mike Carey and his team with a pair of introductory losses in Big 12 play, the game had stopped being a beauty contest.

As Texas came into the Coliseum on Wednesday, it had reached the moment to adopt Al Davis’ slogan when he ran the Oakland Raiders — “Just win, baby.”

And that’s what his team did, blowing a lead, then coming back and winning, 53-49, against a taller Longhorn outfit.

“We needed to win a game,” Carey declared, his season record now standing at 9-5.

In the end, that was all that mattered. Were they perfect? No.

And when that happens, Carey often will let anyone who wants to hear about it know.

Not this time.

“I’m not going to go over all they did wrong,” he said. “Let’s just get in practice tomorrow. We’ve got Kansas State coming. Believe me, practice will be a lot more fun tomorrow than it would have been if we lost.

“The girls hung in there. They fought. They didn’t play well, but we played well enough to get the win, and that’s what we needed to do.”

Winning was the only goal that Carey carried into the game. There are no moral victories, not when you’re winless after two games and playing at home.

“We just felt ‘keep it close, keep it close, keep it close’ and try to get into the last four minutes with our best players on the floor and we had a chance,” Carey said.

They had kept it close in their prior two conference games, but there was so much they weren’t doing right, especially in the fact that they were fouling and fouling and fouling their opponents and that put Carey into, yes, a foul mood.

For the year, even after the Texas win, WVU has committed 296 fouls while drawing just 248 and been outscored 294-243 at the free-throw line.

“Those two games before this our best players were sitting on the bench. We had a tie or one-point game and we just couldn’t play them because they had four fouls,” he said. “It’s tough. You lose two games by a total of four points and then you come to practice with me the next day, it’s tough.

“I told them (when he’d see a smile at practice), I don’t see anything funny. I don’t see anything funny. It’s not funny. We’re here to win.

“But give them a lot of credit. They worked hard in practice. Again, we didn’t play well, but we played well enough to win. Now we have to build on that.”

The Mountaineers had edged to a halftime lead and played well doing it behind high scorers YaYa Dunning, who finished with 19 points, and Christal Caldwell, who had 16, offsetting the Texas height advantage of playing with a 6-7 center and a pair of 6-4 forwards up front.

But in the second half Carey sensed a change.

“I thought we came out in the second half lackadaisical, you know, standing around, and then they took the lead and went up three or four and we started picking it up again,” he said.

Part of the problem was bad luck.

“I don’t know how many shots we had go in and out at the rim. I mean, we had so many opportunities at the rim and it just wouldn’t go in. But we kept playing hard at the other end, which gave us opportunities,” he said.

Near the end, Brooke Hampton came off the bench cold and hit a key free throw, and WVU wasn’t putting Texas to the line every few seconds as it had done in the past.

“That was amazing. They had to hit us three times to get us in the 1-and-1. We didn’t foul very much ourselves. They only went to the line 12 times. If we can keep them from the line 12 to 20 times, we have a chance to win games. We’ve been putting people on the line 30 to 40 times, and you can’t win games in this league like that,” Carey said.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

House Ads
Featured Ads