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WVU Women’s Basketball

West Virginia Women Rally Late to Beat Visiting Kansas State, 65-56



WVU's Kari Niblack (photo by Dale Sparks/WVU Athletic Communications)

The West Virginia University women’s basketball team trailed by six points to start the fourth quarter Wednesday before rallying late to beat visiting Kansas State 65-56 at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.

Kari Niblack, a junior forward, led WVU with a career-high 23 points — her first 20 point game since Dec. 21 2019.

Redshirt senior Kysre Gondrezick and sophomore Esmery Martinez continued their strong run of recent play with 22 and 11 points, with Martinez also grabbing a team-high eight rebounds to help WVU (11-2, 5-2 Big 12) secure its sixth consecutive win.

“Needless to say, we really weren’t anticipating them holding for one shot at the end of the shot clock,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “We knew we had to speed them up. I was looking to speed them up more in the second half. I just hoped we could keep it halfway close in the first half, then try to speed them up. Offensively, we didn’t move the ball. We were taking bad shots. We weren’t getting a lot of possessions. I just felt like we were taking hurried shots because we were worried on the other end that they were going to stall. We have to do a better job on that.”

The Mountaineers trailed 45-39 after three quarters of play Wednesday before outscoring the Wildcats (5-5, 0-3 Big 12) 26-9 in the final quarter.

WVU did not shoot especially well, connecting on 19 of 50 field goal attempts (38 percent), but forced K-State into 29 turnovers, which were converted into 26 points for the Mountaineers.

Ayoka Lee led Kansas State with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Christianna Carr chipped in with 15 points in the loss.

WVU is off until next Wednesday (Jan. 27) when the Mountaineers visit Texas Tech. WVU and the Red Raiders are scheduled to tip at 7 p.m. from United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas with the game broadcast being streamed via Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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Tom Bragg covers WVU, Marshall, high schools and other sports for West Virginia Sports Now. Tom spent more than a decade as a sports journalist based in West Virginia covering high school, college, youth and professional sports for newspapers in Huntington, Fairmont and Charleston before joining WVSN in 2020. Tom is a graduate of Marshall University's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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