The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

February 13, 2014

Unsatisfied WVU women visit Oklahoma

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University’s women’s basketball, it’s poll spot having been elevated to No. 13 this week, has its place in March Madness cinched, but getting there really isn’t what it’s all about for a team as talented as the Mountaineers.

This year, with a senior-laden roster and talented underclassman, they are looking to make some noise.

“The biggest thing is you never want to be satisfied,” coach Mike Carey said as his team prepared to head to Norman, Okla., for a rematch with a Sooner team it had beaten, 77-63, at home earlier in the season.

“The ultimate goal is to win the national championship. I’m never pleased; it doesn’t matter. I’m never going to be pleased as a coach,” he said. “I need to continue to push and to say we need to get better in these areas.”

The point, over the last seven games before the Big 12 Tournament, is to reach the peak, to get to the point where you can shine under the brightest spotlight in the game, and the Mountaineers believe they have what it takes to be special.

“If we are going to peak it needs to be right now so we’re ready for March,” senior guard Christal Caldwell said. “I still don’t think we’ve put together a full 40 minutes. I think that’s the great part about it because we are winning these games but still haven’t played our best game. When we do, it’s going to be scary.”

Think about the talent WVU (20-3 and 9-2) has.

For example, it faces the Sooners (15-9 and 6-5) tonight, a team with a true star player in Aaryn Ellenberg, a player who averages 18.8 points a game.

WVU has no one averaging anywhere near 18.8 per game, sophomore guard Bria Holmes having raised her average to 14.4 in her last outing with a career-high 31 points.

But, what WVU does have is four different players who have scored 25 or more points in a game during their career – Holmes and Taylor Palmer, a senior who once 33 points in a game; Asya Bussie and Caldwell, each of whom has scored 25 in a game.

“When everyone on the floor can score, you’re balanced. We can bring people off the bench that have double figures, which is unique,” said Carey.

It gives him all kinds of options entering into a game.

“The other night, Asya didn’t score a lot and Averee Fields didn’t score a lot, yet our guards picked it up. We can go inside to get scoring, but also on the perimeter,” he said.

What makes it nice is he isn’t tied to a game plan that isn’t working coming in.

“You know who is playing well, who is not, who’s hitting their shots, who’s not, what’s the best combination. I play nine or 10 people and try to see who is playing well together,” he said. “On the other hand, sometimes players have off days. Your game plan may be to shade one player but she isn’t playing well, so now all of a sudden someone else starts hitting and you have to make adjustments.”

Oklahoma, too, has players other than Ellenberg who can score, starting four players in double figures, but it’s Ellenberg who draws the attention. She scored 28 points the first time these two teams faced each other, and Carey undoubtedly will have some new tricks to try in this rematch.

The game will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports 1 with Ron Thulin and Brenda VanLengen. The game will also air live on the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG online and on WRLF-FM 94.3 and WMMN-AM 920 with Jeff Culhane and Meg Bulger.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 22, 2014

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU’s Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

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