The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 30, 2014

10-minute surge sparks WVU women

Mountaineers flat most of the way in win over Iowa State

MORGANTOWN — No. 20/24 West Virginia University scored a 67-56 victory over No. 21/23 Iowa State Wednesday night at the Coliseum, but you’d be badly mistaken if you think coach Mike Carey was happy with it.

“I’m as disappointed as if we lost,” Carey said after watching his team sleepwalk though all but 10 minutes of the game. “That’s the flattest I’ve seen us this year.”

Why it happened no one seemed to know. Coming off a loss at Texas you would think a veteran team would be traveling in high gear, but after a couple of good days of practice, the Mountaineers seemed to lose all interest in what they were doing.

“We stood around the first 10 minutes, played the second 10 minutes and then stood around the last 20 minutes,” Carey said, and his players agreed with him.

It was a spectacular first half of basketball for the Mountaineers that ended with a 20-2 run to double Iowa State’s score at 42-21. During the run, Iowa State’s leading scorer Hallie Christofferson was on the bench with foul problems.

“West Virginia took advantage of our foul trouble,” Christofferson said.

With 7:24 left in the half, Iowa State’s Nikki Moody scored to cut it to 22-19, but the Cyclones would score only one more basket in the half.

It was Bria Holmes, who had just missed a pair of free throws, who ignited the Mountaineers, and she canned a pair of back-to-back 3s to make it 28-19. Holmes eventually ended the half with 13 points and finished the game the leading scorer with 16 points.

Asya Bussie took control from there, hitting four consecutive free throws to make it 32-19.

Bussie ended the half with 10 points and had 14 for the game.

The Mountaineers kept the pressure up, dominating the boards for a 20-14 rebounding advantage at the half and a 16-6 lead in points in the paint.

Defensively, WVU completely stuffed Iowa State, holding it to just 23.3 percent shooting on 7-of-30 in the first half, Moody making only 1 of 10 shots. WVU shot 57.7 percent for the half.

For the game, Iowa State could shoot no better than 28.3 percent.

“You don’t beat teams shooting 28 percent from the field,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said.

WVU just lost whatever it was it had found in the final 10 minutes of the first half throughout the second half.

Slowly, Iowa State cut into the lead, never got near erasing it completely, but did narrow it from a high of 24 to 10 before the game ended with WVU in front by 11.

Carey feels his seniors need to show more enthusiasm the rest of the way if this team is going to live up to its potential in the post-season.

“I hope they take ownership of the team down the stretch,” he said. “They need to realize they have only nine more games left in their regular-season careers.”

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

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