The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 5, 2013

WVU set for duel against Longhorns

MORGANTOWN — Way back on Feb. 12, before No. 25 Oklahoma State invaded the Coliseum to face West Virginia’s women’s basketball team, Coach Mike Carey laid out what he felt it would take for his team to get into the NCAA tournament this year.

“I told the players there are six games left and we need to win at least four of them,” Carey said.

The next night his Mountaineers went out and promptly lost to the Cowboys.

Now their backs were against the wall because they knew they had to face No. 1 Baylor in the penultimate game of the regular season, an almost certain loss, putting them in the position of having to win every other game.

They responded well, winning three straight after that Oklahoma State loss prior to their Saturday night beat down by the top-ranked Bears before the largest crowd ever to see women’s basketball played in Morgantown, and now they face their final game of the regular season tonight on the road at Texas.

“I said we have to win four of six and we’re right on schedule,” Carey said following the Baylor game.

Texas is not a strong team, sitting next-to-last in the Big 12 with a 4-13 record in conference play, 11-17 overall compared to WVU’s 9-8 and 17-11 record.

But this 8:30 p.m. game will be Senior Night and that’s always emotional and can offer up a challenge.

Certainly Texas doesn’t fear the Mountaineers, who could win by only 53-49 at home in the season’s first meeting.

And Texas is 8-6 on its home court.

One key for West Virginia is to get its leading scorer, Christal Caldwell, back on target. Caldwell scored 16 points in the first Texas game on 7 of 13 shooting but has slumped lately.

While the leading scorer against Baylor with 14 points, she hit only four of 16 shots and in her last six games has hit only 22 of 87 shots, just 25.3 percent.

“I can’t find the basket,” she admitted after the Baylor game.

Caldwell did lead WVU in scoring in each game last week and remains the team’s leading scorer with an average of 13.0 points a game.

Senior Ya Ya Dunning, who will be playing the final regular season game of her career after closing out her home career against Baylor, is the second leading scorer with 10.3 points a game. She also leads in rebound with 6.3 per game.

Perhaps the biggest strength of the Mountaineers has been its depth, Carey able to play 12 players, eight of them averaging double-figure minutes a game and the others averaging right at 9 minutes a game.

Junior Jess Harlee and freshman Bria Holmes have each provided the biggest spark off the bench this season. Harlee averages 5.8 points per league game as the leading scorer out of the reserves, while Holmes chips in 5.6 points per Big 12 outing. Harlee has collected the second-most steals for the team with 33 in Big 12 play and 43 overall and normally plays the toughest defense on the floor.

Three Texas players average double-figure scoring numbers, led by junior Chassidy Fussell with 14.5 points per game in all games. Fussell is also the Longhorns’ leading 3-point shooter with 43.

Sophomore Nneka Enemkpali averages 12.9 points and shoots 44.7 percent from the field.    

The Longhorns have out-rebounded league opponents by a margin of 5.9 rebounds per game, the third-highest in the league. A large part of the rebounding efforts can be credited to freshman Imani McGee-Stafford, who averages 9.5 boards per league game, the fourth-highest average in the conference. Behind McGee-Stafford, Enemkpali averages 7.8 rebounds and Fussell pulls down 5.6 rebounds in Big 12 games.

McGee-Stafford rounds out the Longhorns’ top three scorers with 11.2 points per game in the Big 12 while shooting 46.2 percent (78-169) from the field.

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

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • 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

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