MORGANTOWN — There were moments in his post-game delivery that coach Mike Carey talked about the imperfections in his West Virginia University women’s basketball team’s performance, but in the end, the main topic of the evening was perfection.
With a 69-56 victory over Marquette before 4,485 fans, the No. 7/8 Mountaineers completed just the second undefeated home season in school history.
OK, they lost three road games, each to a ranked team — Ohio State, Notre Dame and No. 1 Connecticut.
And, as Carey would note, they haven’t been as consistent as he would like them to be, as if they ever could be, but make no doubt, this is a special team having a special season in a special way.
They were unknown coming into the season but they are well known now, a force in the women’s game, a team that will have a double-bye in the Big East Tournament and a team that is looking beyond even that now.
The Mountaineers will be NCAA bound and they believe …
Well, let’s just leave it at that. They believe.
They know it will be tough, that they haven’t yet this year reached the peak that they’ll need then.
“Everyone is going to bring their A game in the NCAA. We have to bring our A+ game,” point guard Sarah Miles said.
Beating Marquette was one thing. Seventeen and oh is one thing too. But there is so much more ahead.
“Are we doing this to beat Marquette,” Carey asked his team after the game, “or there is something more. If we advance to the NCAA we have to beat really good teams.”
They are getting closer and closer to that perfection Carey seeks.
Defensively, they border on awesome. They are in your face, hard-nosed.”
“Their defense is unbelievably good,” Marquette Coach Terri Mitchell said. “We used to talk about the days of Rutgers defense, how hard it was to rip through them, how they were in your face and made you start far back. Well, that’s how it is West Virginia.”