The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

December 4, 2012

WVU women finding their game

MORGANTOWN — If anything can be drawn from the West Virginia women’s 54-47 victory Sunday over a good Virginia team that can carry over into today’s 7 p.m. game against instate rival Marshall, it is that the team had a lesson in what its identity is and how to play to it.

The Mountaineers (4-2) went into the Virginia game off two consecutive losses, losses built mainly off dismal shooting both from the field and the foul line and an inability on defense to stay away from stupid fouls.

In beating Virginia they certainly didn’t solve the shooting problems. West Virginia shot just 35.6 percent for the game. Its two high scorers, Christal Caldwell (19 points) and Taylor Palmer (11), made just 12 of 44 from the field.

Shooting may be a problem all season with this team, especially minus Asya Bussie, the team’s high scorer last year and top inside presence, who is out for the season with knee surgery.

That’s the reality. Some teams don’t shoot well.

In fact, in losing the two games in a row, not shooting well didn’t bother Carey particularly.

“What disappointed me was when we missed our shots we broke down defensively. When you’re not making your shots you have to get stops. That’s something we’ve been able to do in the past,” he said.

It is the trademark of Mike Carey teams. They will battle you harder on defense than on offense, wear you down and beat you.

Against Virginia, that is just what occurred.

“We’re known defensively,” Carey said. “Our girls really stepped it up today and talked and communicated and did a great job. There was a lot of bodies on the floor there and I thought it was a great basketball game. We feel very fortunate. They are going to win a lot of games and hopefully we will, too. I thought our team battled for 40 minutes.”

The defense, like the offense, requires players working together as a unit and this WVU team has still been in the process of figuring that out. Not that it is a different group than a year ago, but without Bussie assignments changed, positions changed and leadership changed.

“I think it will come. It is coming along together better now,” center YaYa Dunning, herself a team leader, said before the Virginia game. “Playing so many people, we need to get a feel for one another and communicate better on the defensive end.”

The result was the Mountaineers held a Virginia team that had won five of six entering the game to just 25.8 percent shooting, pressing the 3-point shooters to the point that they made only 3 of 21, which is 14.3 percent.

Ball pressure also forced 23 turnovers to just seven assists.

That also solved the problem of fouling too much that cropped up in the two previous losses, especially when Iowa shot 50 free throws and Dunning had to go to the bench with early foul trouble.

“We have to play defense, stop penetration, smother the ball before it gets inside to YaYa because we know there isn’t that big a presence in the post area because Asya is not there,” guard Taylor Palmer said.

That’s the way the Mountaineer defense will have to perform against Marshall in tonight’s Capital Classic.

Marshall comes into the game at 4-3 after splitting two games in the Eastern Kentucky Tournament, losing to Jackson State before beating Presbyterian College with Shay Weaver, named to the all-tournament team, hitting five 3-point shots in each game.

She scored 36 points in the tournament on 12 of 21 shooting, making 10 of 17 3s, which is something the West Virginia defense will concentrate on.

Palmer is the Mountaineers’ leading scorer at 11.0 points a game while Christal Caldwell averages 10.3 and Dunning 9.7.

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

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • LINDLEY COLUMN: Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.

    July 24, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five major sports topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers.

    July 24, 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.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘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 24, 2014

  • ‘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

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