The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

February 19, 2014

WVU women host Oklahoma for ‘biggest game of the year’

MORGANTOWN — Coaches normally, in the course of a long regular season such as there is in college basketball, try not to put too much emphasis on any one game.

Not Mike Carey.

He is treating his No. 13 West Virginia University women’s basketball team’s rematch with No. 12 Oklahoma State at 7 tonight at the Coliseum as “the biggest game of the year.”

  On the surface, of course, it’s obviously a huge game for seeding come the NCAA Tournament.

 “I told the girls yesterday, this is a big game,” Carey said. “This is a big game for seeding. They are going to come in here and play extremely hard. I think both teams know they are probably in the NCAA, but this is about seeding right now, and they are projected to get a higher seed than we do right now.

“They are going to come in here looking to win, and we have to have this game. This is the biggest game of the year.”

But this game goes deeper than the NCAA seedings, for WVU finds itself in a position it rarely has ever found itself in.

The Mountaineers have a chance to win the Big 12 regular-season championship, sitting in second place, a game behind Baylor.

“That’s great, but I haven’t really thought about it much,” Carey admitted. “To me, it’s always been about trying to make the NCAA and get a high seed and have an opportunity to advance in the tournament. Of course, along the way, if you have an opportunity to win your conference championship, that’s great.

“We’re in a good position right now, so we’ll see what happens.”

It is little wonder Carey never gave much thought to the conference championship over the years. In the Big East he was in there with Connecticut (and Notre Dame), and when he moved to the Big 12 he ran into Baylor.

They had no real chance to be conference champion, which may have taken some zing out of the regular season.

“I don’t think that hurt us, though,” Carey said. “My job is to make the NCAA Tournament and win as many games as I can. Along the way, if there’s an opportunity to win the conference championship or the conference tournament, that’s great because you have to win some of those games to get to the NCAA.

“It’s exciting at this time of the year to be in contention for the conference championship, but that’s not our main goal right now.”

As it stands, Baylor leads at 12-1 and WVU is second at 11-2, and WVU’s next two games after Oklahoma State are at Kansas State and at home against Texas Tech, the two bottom teams in the league.

Then they play what figures to really be the game of the year, going to Baylor on March 2 before finishing out the regular season at home against Kansas, which is third from the bottom in the Big 12.

To have any chance they have to get through this game against Oklahoma State, a team they edged on the road, 71-67, even though they were outhustled and out rebounded.

“We didn’t play well, but we still ended up with a win under our belt,” said center Asya Bussie, who had a difficult game. “I gave up a lot of easy baskets and got in foul trouble.”

But as has happened so often this year, WVU overcame all of its problems and found a way to pull out a victory.

This time Bussie is planning on playing better, and sophomore Bria Holmes has emerged as the team’s top scoring force while also doing a big job rebounding.

WVU’s Brooke Hampton remains sidelined with a knee injury.

“We’re not going to put a time table on it or push her. We’ll see,” Carey said. “I was told in the beginning anywhere from two to four weeks, so we’ll see what happens. When she’s getting better and starts working out, we’ll evaluate it then. She’s not even close now.”

Meanwhile, sophomore Darius Faulk, who had been redshirted, is serving as the backup and been doing a solid job.

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