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WVU Women’s Basketball

WVU Women Stumble Hard in Second Half, Fall to No. 7 Baylor in Big 12 Opener



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The West Virginia University women’s basketball team played even with No. 7 Baylor on Thursday in the Big 12 opener for the Mountaineers, but the Bears pulled away over the final two quarters to get out of Morgantown with a 65-45 win.

WVU (4-1, 0-1 Big 12) trailed 14-9 after the first quarter, but battled back to even the score at 28-28 by halftime. Baylor proceeded to outscore the Mountaineers 37-17 over the final two quarters.

“I felt we should have had the lead at halftime,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “Even though we weren’t scoring, we were playing hard defense, and in the second half, we went too much one-on-one. We never moved the ball. We never played defense and gave up offensive rebounds. We played tired. We looked tired in the second half. I don’t know why, but we really looked tired in the second half.”

The Mountaineers went ice cold from the field in the second half, making five combined field goals in the third and fourth quarters — including just one of their final 13 attempts. West Virginia shot 27.8 percent from the floor for the game (15 of 54). The foul line was not kind either, with WVU hitting 13 of 21 attempts from the charity stripe.

“Terrible shot selection in the second half,” Carey said. “One-on-four, one-on-five and even the break, we had no ball reversal or ball movement, and they just clogged up the paint and either blocked it or we took a bad shot. We kept telling them every time, telling them to move the ball or reverse the ball. I tried to put a bunch of people in there, and nobody was doing what we were asking them. It is my job to make sure they do that. We will get that ironed out. You can’t score like we did. We quit playing defense, because we weren’t scoring. People that were not hitting shots quit playing defense. That is not a team. That is an individual. We can’t play individual basketball. That is what we did last year, and we are not going to do that.”

Sophomore guard Kirsten Deans led West Virginia with 10 points, while fellow sophomore Esmery Martinez led the team with 13 rebounds. For Baylor, guard DiJonai Carrington was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points.

WVU is next scheduled to play against James Madison on Sunday at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. Opening tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the game being available on the Big 12 Now/ESPN+ live streaming platform.

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