WVU Women’s Basketball
Historic Road Upset Vaults WVU Into Top 25 Rankings
West Virginia’s women’s basketball team has enjoyed a very nice start to the season. After losing their first game in Mexico, the Mountaineers sat a 5-1 heading into a road matchup with no. 10 Mississippi State on Sunday.
The Bulldogs were going to be by far the toughest team WVU had faced up to that point in the season. The Mountaineers went into Starkville and knocked off the Bulldogs 71-65, the first road non-conference victory over a ranked team in program history. With the win, the team jumped to no. 22 in the AP Top-25 Poll this week.
“Both teams played extremely hard,” head coach Mike Carey said after the game. “Both teams play alike a lot. They spread you, try to take you off the dribble, up the lane on defense. I thought both teams played extremely hard.”
West Virginia outscored Mississippi State 23-16 in the second quarter and entered halftime with a 36-28 lead. The Bulldods came back in the third to score 27 points and retake the lead, but Carey said his team did everything they needed to in order to stay in the game.
“In the third quarter when they took the lead our girls didn’t quit, they kept fighting back, fighting back, fighting back,” Carey said. “You’ve just got to stay in the game. If you defend, it will keep you in the game, if you rebound you can stay in the game then you hit some shots down the stretch and you’ve got a chance to win.”
West Virginia outrebounded the Bulldogs 46-34 and held them to just 2-14 shooting in the fourth quarter and was able to come back and retake the lead late.
Freshman Kirsten Deans scored WVU’s final seven points with less than two minutes to play to ice the game for the Mountaineers. Deans led the team with 17 points, her highest total of the season. Kysre Gondrezick was WVU’s second-highest scorer with 16 points. The junior is fifth in the Big 12 averaging 18.7 points per game.
The win is one of the biggest in Carey’s 19 seasons as head coach.
“Very proud of our players, they played hard and this is a very tough place to play, (the Bulldogs) have a great team,” Carey said. “Hopefully, we can build on this.”