The Times West Virginian

Sports

December 20, 2013

Holmes making strides for WVU

MORGANTOWN — As the play developed, the Delaware State player found herself on a breakaway, dribbling down the court, far ahead of the field.

If this had been the slalom in the upcoming winter Olympics, you would have been saying that the only thing between her and the gold medal was a fall.

This, though, was West Virginia University against Delaware State basketball on Wednesday night, a game WVU would win by the rather ridiculous score of 109-47, and it turned out that what stood between her and a layup was a player far behind, the Mountaineers’ Bria Holmes.

A gifted sophomore guard, Holmes took off in pursuit at breakneck speed and pulled off a Herculean effort as she caught the front-running Hornet from behind just before she was going to take the ball to the basket, slapping it away into the seats as the offended sprawled across the Coliseum floor.

Certainly impressive was the speed Holmes showed for someone who stands 6-foot-1, which makes her a sizeable women’s guard, but more impressive was the desire she showed in a game as one-sided as this, the play obviously not one which would have any real bearing on the outcome.

Such speed, such effort was not what once was expected of her, as teammate Asya Bussie, the Mountaineers’ fifth-year senior center and team leader, would relate in a post-game press conference.

“When she first got here, we had conditioning; she just would not run,” Bussie recalled. “I thought she just couldn’t run and was just slow. We got into an argument (about her effort). Eventually, she started to run, and now she’s leading the team in sprints.”

What was going on with Holmes, who is a shy person and was even more so having just come out of high school in New Haven, Conn.?

“When I first got here, I felt I couldn’t do the stuff they were doing,” she explained. “It was a mental thing. I had just broken down inside. I got through it and this year was fun. I made all my times and stuff.”

Made her times?

“When Bria wants to run, she is as fast as anybody I have,” Carey allowed. “And she’s very athletic. You don’t always have to get shots. The way she jumps, her quickness and height as a guard, she can go in there and dominate the boards, if she wants to.”

Most of her teammates agree that if she continues to push hard, she can become one of the best guards ever to play at WVU along with the Bulgers, Liz Repella, Sarah Miles and Yolanda Paige, although she is going to do her contributing via scoring and rebounds rather than as a set-up guard like Miles and Paige.

Against Delaware State, admittedly not a tough test, she flashed all her skills.

Holmes scored 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, all four of the misses coming from 3-point range, where she did hit two shots. She had four rebounds and five assists … and she was coming back from missing time with a concussion, which may serve as a sign of the way she plays the game.

“This is the best I’ve felt since coming back. I just had to go out there with the mentality of playing basketball and clearing everything out of my head,” she said, which is something the concussion takes care of quite well.

Told that there were those, including Coach Carey, who see her possessing the ability to be among the best guards ever at WVU, Holmes replied:

“That’s pretty much of a shock. I just have to play my game and not think too much about that kind of stuff.”

Holmes has taken over the scoring lead on the Mountaineers at 14.3 points a game, while also leading in steals with 16.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Tori Postlewait front.jpg East’s Postlewait, North’s Latocha toss no-hitters

    Tori Postlewait made a deal with her great-uncle, Kenny Carpenter, before her freshman season.
    If the Bees’ pitcher tossed a no-hitter, Carpenter promised to give her $20.
    Well, it took four years, but it’s finally time for Postlewait’s great-uncle to pay up.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • East tennis splits with Polar Bears

    Fairmont Senior and East Fairmont split a pair of tennis matches Thursday, with Fairmont Senior winning the boys’ match and East Fairmont taking the girls’ competition.
    In the Bees’ 6-1 girls’ victory, Cara Laswell took second singles, 8-2. Erica Gorman won third singles, 8-1. And Carrington Reese won fourth singles, 8-3.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • 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

  • University hands Huskies first loss; East edges Elkins

    The mercy rule has been a familiar part of North Marion’s softball season.
    Through the first seven games, the Huskies regularly pounded their opponents with stingy defense, sharp pitching and timely hitting. Rarely did a game go all seven innings for the previously undefeated team.

    April 17, 2014

  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Pirates shut out by Reds’ Cueto, 4-0

    Johnny Cueto was on his game, and the only thing that the Pirates could do was watch.
    Cueto pitched his third career shutout against the team that beat him in the NL wild card game, and Joey Votto hit a two-run homer that led the Cincinnati Reds over the Pirates 4-0 Wednesday for their first winning series this season.

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos