The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

January 7, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN- WVU women’s upset win, late rally best ever?

MORGANTOWN — That absolutely amazing 71-67 upset-victory at Oklahoma State last Saturday night was this TV viewer’s finest game in the West Virginia women’s 40-year basketball program history.

What’s more, the Mountaineers required a 15-2 game-winning rally during the final five minutes against those undefeated, 11th-ranked Cowgirls (now 12-1) that might have been the best WVU head coach Mike Carey ever orchestrated.

Carey, a Clarksburg native, is in his 13th season here. And his record of 257-114 is the best percentage-wise at .649. Kittie Blakemore, the first ever head coach of the WVU women’s program, had a 19-year record of 301-214 (.584 percentage).

Sophomore guard Bria Holmes led West Virginia in its 13th consecutive conquest of the season with 21 points, including the vital final seven points.

Senior center Asya Bussie tallied 13 points and seven rebounds, while senior guard Christal Caldwell chipped in 13 points and two assists.

In all, 10 players contributed to this significant Mountaineer victory on national television. But there were only 3,006 fans watching in Oklahoma State’s Lloyd Noble Center (12,000 seats).

Carey, who came to WVU in 2002 after having spent 13 years as head coach of men’s basketball at Salem International, his alma mater, told reporters after the unexpected win:

“That was a great game. Oklahoma State has a great team. They kicked our butt on the glass and I thought they out-hustled us for a majority of the game.”

The Cowgirls led by as many as 13 points in each half, as Carey readily admitted. He explained that he was trying to find a combination of five people that played hard.

“Finally, I put Jess Harlee at the four (position) and I thought she helped us on the perimeter, got us going a little better,” Carey admitted.

“Our girls showed a lot of heart. They fought back, so you have to give our girls a lot of credit also.”

Indeed, the Mountaineers, 13-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12, are most deserving.

Two free throws gave OSU a nine-point advantage at 65-56 with five minutes left. Then the rally followed.

Although out-rebounded by 45-34, West Virginia shot .464 percent from the field (24 of 51). Defensively, the Mountaineers held Oklahoma State to .317 percent (20 of 63).

WVU also excelled at the free-throw line, making 18 of 25 (.720). The Cowgirls made 21 of 32 free-throws (.656).

Eight blocked shots, five by Bussie, also had to be a major factor in WVU’s memorable win that night. OSU blocked no shots.

Carey, a two-time Coach of the Year in the Big East Conference, has earned numerous honors during his 26-year head-coaching career. You’ll find in a review of the 40 years of women’s basketball, Mike Carey has more “best in program history” achievements than any of his predecessors.

Hopefully, there will be a considerably larger crowd than usual to welcome the women’s team back for a Wednesday game against Baylor. Tipoff at the Coliseum is 7 p.m.

Carey’s crew also will remain home for a Sunday noon contest against Texas.

1
Text Only
Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Blaney wins 100th Sprint Car race

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may be of interest to you:
    • Dale Blaney, the all-time great West Virginia University basketball star, has achieved another historic notch in his athletic career as a Sprint Car racer. He posted his 100th career riding in the All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio last weekend.

    April 12, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- What a wonderful evening with Dr. Stanley ‘Coach’ Kandzari

    This column really is not about sports, per se. But, more importantly, it is about a widely known medical doctor whose nickname happens to be “Coach.”

    April 8, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Turnbull endured many tragedies growing up

    Coach Craig Turnbull, the latest head-coach victim of Oliver Luck’s shocking series of firings at West Virginia University, had generally enjoyed what many rate as an outstanding career not only in athletics but in life.
    Like the present, there also were some very difficult times for him as a youngster.

    April 6, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: All-time WVU great QB Bernie Galiffa dies at 63

    It was very sad to learn that Bernie Galiffa, one of the most outstanding quarterbacks in West Virginia University football history, had passed away.
    The three-year letterman for famed coach Bobby Bowden died last Thursday in Wilmington, N.C., at the age of 63.

    April 4, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Is $106 million in facilities updates really key to WVU sports success?

    You may have heard or read that West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is planning to spend $106 million for major projects.
    According to published reports, that is to improve athletic facilities, including Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium and the WVU Coliseum (yet to be named for a rich donor).

    April 2, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Who’s next on Oliver Luck’s hatchet list?

    Who’s going to be next on Oliver Luck’s sad house-cleaning list as West Virginia University’s athletic director?
    Craig Turnbull, the outstanding head coach and builder of the Mountaineers’ wrestling program for 36 years, was notified on Friday afternoon that Luck shockingly announced that his contract will not be renewed on June 30 for next year.

    March 30, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Herbie Brooks one of Catlett’s early standouts at WVU

    Herbie Brooks, a native of Beckley, was an All-Stater at Mullens High School and demonstrated his talents at West Virginia University from 1984-89 in men’s basketball.
    The 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard performed admirably under coach Gale Catlett’s direction.

    March 29, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads