The Times West Virginian

Sports

February 27, 2013

WVU rallies for ‘ugly’ win over Kansas State

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University women’s basketball center Ya Ya Dunning put it best.

“It was an ugly win, but I’m pretty sure everyone would take an ugly win over a pretty loss,” she said after the Mountaineers overcame a 36-point effort by Kansas State’s Brittany Chambers and came from behind in the second half to defeat the Wildcats 66-57.

The 36 points were the most points ever scored by K-State player in a conference game and a career high for Chambers, who hit 14 of 25 shots and six of 10 from 3-point range.

“Brittany had a will to find a way to win. Unfortunately, there was no significant product around her,” said coach Deb Patterson.

The Wildcats were playing at a distinct disadvantage as they have all season. Due to injuries, they dressed only seven players, and only six played in the game, making them vulnerable to be worn down by a WVU team that handed them their fourth straight loss while winning its third straight.

In many ways WVU won despite itself.

“You do what you do in practice,” coach Mike Carey said. “We came back from TCU and we were laughing, playing around the last two days. I told the coaches we would come out flat.”

And flat the Mountaineers were in the first half, trailing by eight points as they had one assist and 10 turnovers.

“We were a step slow. We were standing around; they were rebounding everything,” Carey said.

So, at halftime, he had a word or two for his team.

“I’m a nice guy, not a bad guy, and I told them that, but I told them they make me bad guy. I told them don’t take it personal. They’re great girls. They make great grades and I love them to death. But it isn’t about feelings right now.”

Indeed, West Virginia is in the stretch run, playing for position in the Big 12 Tournament and to get into the NCAA Tournament. They are 17-10 and 9-7 in the conference with two games left, and Carey is adamant that he will find five girls who play.

He certainly did that in the second half, as Dunning played big inside, a slumping Christal Caldwell found her shot and hit some key 3s, Jess Harlee took charge both on offense and defense and Linda Stepney canned shots when left open.

The rest was 10 assists and just one turnover in the second half, the reverse of the first, and 43 points scored compared to 23 in the first half.

“Basically, coach told us to get our heads out of our butts,” Harlee said.

It was exactly what she told the team, too, although in perhaps more lady-like terms.

Caldwell wound up making the biggest difference offensively. The team’s leading scorer she had managed just four and two points in her last two games and had made only 3 of her last 24 shots over the last two and a half games before hitting three 3s in the second half.

“I just tried to play through it,” she said. “I tried to do other things, but I knew I had to score for the team and I knew it would eventually come.”

She finished with 15 points, to tie Dunning for the team lead while Harlee had 11 points and Averee Fields had 10.

If the Mountaineers had anything to cheer about at the end of the first half it was that they held at 23-20 lead.

Not over Kansas State.

Over Chambers, who came into the game averaging 19.2 points per game and surpassed that scoring average by halftime with 20 points.

There was no stopping her, no matter what the Mountaineers tried.

She hit eight of 11 field goal tries, some of them as spectacular shots as you’ve ever seen in a women’s game. She made eight field goals, one less than the entire WVU team, four of them from 3-point range and one of those threes from another area code.

Twice she hit driving shots as the shot clock buzzer was going off, once on a shot that was half hook, half drive, half luck and half prayer.

With it all, WVU was just down eight at the half, 31-23, and the Mountaineers had themselves as much to blame as Chambers.

Dunning was doing the most damage for WVU on the inside, hitting all four shots she took for eight points at the intermission.

The Mountaineers close out the home season and say goodbye to Dunning, the only senior, against the nation’s top team, Baylor, and the top player, Brittney Griner, at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Morgan Hoke -ts.jpg Polar Bear tennis sweeps East: PHOTOS

    Last week East Fairmont’s girls’ tennis team beat Fairmont Senior, 4-3.
    Wednesday at Fairmont State University, the Polar Bears returned the favor with a 5-2 win over their cross-town rival.
    Alissa Link won No. 1 singles, 8-4. Morgan Hoke won No. 3 singles, 9-7. And Avery Towns won No. 4 singles, 8-5, for the Polar Bears.

    April 24, 2014 8 Photos

  • Falcons set for spring game

    Football is back … well, kind of.
    Today at 7 p.m., Fairmont State will hold its annual Maroon & White spring game at Duvall-Rosier Field. The scoreboard won’t mean a whole lot since it’s little more than a glorified scrimmage. Instead, here are five things to watch during today’s game.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Hillberry commits to Wesleyan

    Last year Emma Harrison and Kaitlyn Conaway teamed up with Alexis Hillberry to win several relay medals at the state track meet.
    Though the two West Virginia Wesleyan runners are now in college, they helped to pass the baton to Hillberry Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to join her former teammates on the Bobcats’ track team.

    April 24, 2014

  • O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall

    Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.

    April 24, 2014

  • North, East softball earn blowout wins

    The North Marion softball team was at it again Wednesday night.
    Mattie Polling tripled and singled, starting pitcher Chelsi Latocha doubled and gave up just one hit as the Huskies rolled to another 3-inning mercy-rule victory over Lewis County, 18-1.

    April 24, 2014

  • Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2

    Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
    Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.

    April 24, 2014

  • Pens squander lead, fall to Columbus

    Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Nick Foligno’s wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • FSHS #32, 29-BU #15-TS.jpg Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS

    They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.

    April 23, 2014 7 Photos

  • Gabbi Mascaro Signing -md.jpg Mascaro signs with FSU

    Gabi Mascaro is staying in Fairmont.
    After considering several out-of-state colleges, the Fairmont Senior soccer standout signed her National Letter of Intent Tuesday to continue her career at Fairmont State University, an upstart program which will play its first games in 2015.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos