The Times West Virginian

February 9, 2013

WVU hopes to revamp defense against Kansas

Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University’s women’s basketball team comes off one of its most disappointing losses of the season as it travels to historic Allen Field House in Lawrence to face Kansas in a 3 p.m. basketball game today.

West Virginia had defeated consecutive nationally ranked teams before it went to Texas Tech to play one of its most dismal games of the year, losing, 76-63.

The Mountaineers had more field goals, 3-pointers, rebounds, steals and assists, but sent the Lady Raiders to the free throw line 42 times, of which they capitalized with a season-high 36 points from the line.

“It was above a 10 (on the frustration level),” WVU guard Taylor Palmer said of the loss. “We needed that game a lot, and we didn’t come out with the intensity we thought we would.”

It was a miserable start for the Mountaineers in that game.

The Mountaineers missed 31 attempts in the opening half, for a mere 18.4 field-goal percentage (7-for-38) and could never bounce back.

Now they are on the road again.

Kansas enters today’s game after suffering an 86-45 loss at Baylor on Wednesday. The Jayhawks won their prior two games against Iowa State, 78-75, in overtime, and at Kansas State, 89-80, in double overtime. Kansas returns home from being on the road for its last two games.

Kansas is currently 14-7 overall and 5-5 in league play, just ahead of West Virginia in the Big 12 standings. The Mountaineers are currently 13-9 overall and 5-6 in Big 12 play.

Carolyn Davis and Angel Goodrich lead the Jayhawks in scoring with 15.2 and 13.4 points per game. In Big 12 play, Davis and Goodrich average 14.5 and 13.5 points per game, the seventh and ninth-highest scoring averages of all players in the league, respectively.

Chelsea Gardner rounds out the top three scorers, and leads Kansas is rebounding with 6.1 rebounds in all games and 7.7 boards per league game, the eighth-highest rebounding average. Gardner also averages 2.2 blocked shots per league game. Davis assists with the rebounding efforts with 6.2 rebounds per league game.

As a team, the Jayhawks will put pressure on the WVU defense as they hold the second-highest field-goal percentage in league play, shooting 42.8 percent. Averaging 65.4 points per league game, Kansas is second in the league with 15.2 assists per game.

Gardner holds the third-highest field-goal percentage in league play with 56.9 percent on 33-of-58 shooting. Davis is not far behind, also shooting over 50 percent with 52.7 percent on 58-of-110 shooting from the field.

Goodrich gets the ball to the right hands as she averages 6.4 assists per league game, tied with OSU’s Tiffany Bias for the third-highest assist per game average. In addition to dishing out the assists, Goodrich also holds the second-highest steals per game average with 2.8 steals per game in league play.

The Mountaineers trail 3-0 in the all-time series with Kansas as Kansas edged out WVU 60-59 in the last meeting on Jan. 3, 2013 at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers are 0-1 in Lawrence, dropping the first ever meeting 106-64 on Dec. 21, 1992.

WVU has had five different scoring leaders this season, with Christal Caldwell leading most often, in 10 games. Caldwell remains as WVU’s season scoring leader with 13.6 points per game and 15.5 points per league games. Behind Caldwell, Taylor Palmer is the second-leading scorer with 12.1 points per league game and led WVU with 19 points in the last outing.

The game will be broadcast live nationally by FOX Sports Net.