The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

February 23, 2013

WVU women face must-win

MORGANTOWN — Sometimes it isn’t how much one says that captures the essence of a situation, simply what one says.

In the case of the West Virginia University women’s basketball team’s situation, it was junior forward Christal Caldwell who said all that had to be said before the team left for today’s 8 p.m. game at TCU.

“This is it,” Caldwell said, encapsulating the entire situation.

West Virginia owns a 15-10 overall record and stands at 7-7 in a Big 12 race that has national No. 1 Baylor off by itself at 14-0 but the next six teams within two games of each other as they battle for seeding in the conference tournament.

WVU is 7-7 and is in the stretch run.

“I know we have four games left. I said before all this started that we had six games left and had to win four. Now we have four games and we have to win three,” said coach Mike Carey.

It starts with a TCU team that is 8-17 overall and just 1-13 in the conference, which makes it sound like a walkover, but the Horned Frogs are coming off their first conference triumph of the year over Oklahoma State, 64-62, ending a 13-game losing streak.

“You knew they were so close they were eventually going to win one. Now I hope they got it over with,” Carey said. “They will have a little confidence now. This is their second home game in a row. We are going to have to go in there and play well.”

Following TCU, WVU comes home to host Kansas State, which is 4-10 in the league, then hosts No. 1 Baylor and Britney Griner before closing out the regular season at Texas, another team near the bottom with a 3-11 record.

“We have to continue to play hard. We’ve played hard all year but, toward the end of the year, four games left, everyone wants it and no one is going to let any games go. We can’t let any games get away,” Caldwell said.

“There’s no room for error. Some of the teams that have been at the top have let some games go, and that has worked out in our favor. We know how serious this is. We have to continue to come together as a team.”

“We know that every win matters,” added junior forward Jess Harlee. “We know we have to play our best so we can have a good ranking in the Big 12 Tournament.”

Short of a collapse, WVU seems to be in good shape for a post-season NCAA bid.

“Our strength of schedule is the highest it’s ever been since I’ve been here,” Carey noted. “One has us at 8 and another at 9. Our RPI is going to be good …. but we have to win some games.”

They made it a little bit easier on themselves the hard way in their last game, coming from behind on the road to beat No. 24/23 Iowa State, hitting 68 percent of their shots in the second half while winning, 68-66.

The Mountaineer bench made the difference in this game, outscoring Iowa State, 41-6.

“I was proud of them. We’re down 12-0 and I’m thinking, ‘My goodness, we’re in trouble.’ The crowd was going pretty crazy at that point,” Carey said. “Our bench did a great job. Bria Holmes did a great job, everyone did.”

They did so well that Carey went with bench players to start the second half.

“We started slow at the start of the game, but at the end of the half we were going pretty well, so I just went with who was in the game then,” Carey said. “That’s something I did at Oklahoma State, too. I just see who I feel is playing well, who has the quickness. It’s nothing against the starters.”

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

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