The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

February 16, 2014

WVU women to face TCU in meaningful Big 12 game

MORGANTOWN — Sometimes a sporting event has more meaning than shows on the surface, and today’s 1 p.m. women’s basketball game between the No. 13-ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team and TCU at the Coliseum is one of them.

The obvious relevance is in the Mountaineers’ drive for a Big 12 regular-season title, standing a game behind Baylor at 10-2, and seeding for post-season play.

But under the surface there is a far more meaningful significance to the game, which is being designated as a Play4Kay game presented by WVU Healthcare.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness with the first 5,000 fans at the Coliseum receiving pink rally towels courtesy of WVU Healthcare. Also, the first 2,000 fans will get pink glowsticks from Coke Zero, and Coke Zero will donate $1 to the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center for every Coca-Cola bottled product purchased during the game, up to a $2,500 donation.

Gates are open at noon. For a free printable ticket, visit WVUsports.com/pink.

As for the on-court doings, the Mountaineers are riding a four-game win streak and being led by sophomore Bria Holmes, who has grown into a star as she’s led WVU in scoring in each of the past two games, setting a career-high with 31 against Kansas State then coming back to score 19 in a one-point victory over Oklahoma which they won on an Averee Fields jumper with 13 seconds left and then a free throw by Taylor Palmer.

West Virginia had trailed by 14 points during the game but being behind has not bothered the Mountaineers at all this season as they have made it a habit to rally.

WVU has come from behind to get a victory in the final eight minutes or less in five conference games, including the Oklahoma comeback.

When WVU beat TCU in their first meeting of the year they erased a six-point deficit with 7:50 left by taking control on a 16-2 run, Taylor Palmer keying that by scoring all 14 of her points in the final 6:35.

The ability to win close games late may have grown out of upsetting No. 2 Notre Dame on its home floor a couple of years back when Brooke Hampton, who now is out after knee surgery, made a couple of free throws.

Fields, for example, whose late jumper helped beat Oklahoma, certainly lists that game as one of her greatest thrills at WVU.

“The Notre Dame game was one of my top memories because it was exciting and they hadn’t lost there I a long time and last year we played Iowa State away and it was a close game,” she said. “In the huddle, Coach (Mike) Carey said ‘OK, Averee, you’re going to hit the winning basket.’

“In high school I was a go-to player. I used to hit those shots. But in college, that had never been my role. It was up to me and I hit the basket.”

And that’s how it’s been for most of the roster, which thrives on those moments.

“Having five seniors makes a different. When a senior like Asya Bussie gets in trouble, we have players with experience who can step up and make a difference. I feel like we’re mature,” said Crystal Leary.

The Horned Frogs, 14-10 and 5-7, are led in scoring by Zahna Medley with 16.2 points per game. Medley leads TCU with 50 threes made, has dished out the most assists (92) and grabbed 34 steals. The guard is sent to the free-throw line the most (94 attempts) and has recorded 77 free throws, shooting 81.9 percent from the charity stripe.

Natalie Ventress is TCU’s second-leading scorer with 11.4 points per game and holds the highest free-throw percentage for the Horned Frogs, making 82.1 percent (32-39). Ventress is also TCU’s second-leading rebounder with 4.6 boards per game. Behind Medley, Ventress has made 34 threes and Donielle Breaux adds another 22 threes this season.

Latricia Lovings leads TCU’s rebounding efforts with 8.0 rebounds per game. In their last game at Kansas, Medley had a 20-point outing, while Chelsea Prince and Ventress each chipped in 10 points, but the Horned Frogs only shot 29.4 percent (20-60) from the field, and were limited to only three 3-pointers. As a team, TCU averages 64.0 points, 38.3 rebounds and 14.7 free throws per game.

Sunday’s game will air live with the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG online at WVUsports.com, with Jeff Culhane and Meg Bulger on the call. In Morgantown the game will air live on 100.9 WSZT-FM, in Cumberland, Md., on WCBC-AM 1270, in Parkersburg on WADC-AM 1050 and in Charleston on WSCW-AM 1410 and WJYP-AM 1300.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 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

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Gold-Blue Game answers few questions at quarterback

    Dana Holgorsen finds himself in a quarterback quandary.
    He’s looking to have one quarterback and has five of them as spring practice ends, and nothing about the spring session has done anything to straighten out the situation.

    April 13, 2014

  • Moore ‘back at home’ under center

    There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.
    The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

    April 13, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos