The West Virginia University women’s basketball team answered its first loss of the season with a resounding win Sunday, beating visiting James Madison 85-54 at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.
Sophomore Esmery Martinez paced the Mountaineers (5-1, 0-1 Big 12) with 11 points and 22 rebounds — her second game this season with more than 20 rebounds, making Martinez the first player in program history to record multiple 20-plus rebound games in a single since since Olivia Bradley in 1984-1985.
Redshirt senior Kysre Gondrezick led WVU with 15 points in the win and along with Martinez was one of five Mountaineers to finish in double-digits in scoring against JMU along with Kirsten Deans (13 points), Madisen Smith (13) and Jasmine Carson (10).
“We came out and shot the ball in the first half and got close to [being] up by 40,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “Then, it got really sloppy. We started doing a lot of substituting. We gave up too many offensive rebounds and turned it over too much. Other than that, I thought we shot the ball pretty well. We did go inside a lot more than we have been, so I was happy to see that. I was just told Esmery [Martinez] had 21 rebounds. That was the first time since the 1984-85 season that a women’s basketball player has done that, so that’s great. Olivia Bradley was the last woman to do it. Esmery is a big-time rebounder. She’ll continue. She is only a sophomore, so she’ll continue to make records.”
The Mountaineers shot 30 of 63 (47.6 percent) Sunday against JMU (4-2) and made 6 of 10 3-point attempts. The West Virginia defense held James Madison to 22 of 72 shooting (30.6 percent) with just five made 3-pointers in 26 attempts. WVU outrebounded the Dukes 55 to 35 and outscored JMU 42-24 in the paint.
West Virginia returns to Big 12 play this week with a Dec. 18 game at Oklahoma State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with the game being streamed live on the Big 12 Now/ESPN+ platform.
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