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
  • Arrest warrant out for WVU recruit

    West Virginia University’s newest men’s basketball recruit, Tarik Phillip, has an order out for his arrest in North Carolina, according to a story in The Dominion-Post, which said three Gaston County Magistrate office spokespersons confirmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • WVU baseball powers past Oklahoma, 9-5

    The WVU baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits to defeat Oklahoma, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The win gives the Mountaineers their second Big 12 series win of the season and improves the overall record to 19-16 and 4-7 in conference play. Oklahoma drops to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • 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

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