Connect with us

WVU Women’s Basketball

WVU Women’s Basketball Gets Comeback Win vs No. 23 Sooners



WVU Women's Basketball guard JJ Quinerly dribbles the ball during the Mountaineers' February 17 game against No. 23 Oklahoma.
Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Women’s Basketball picked up their second ranked win of the season over No. 23 Oklahoma on Saturday, winning 70-66 with a fourth period comeback.

Oklahoma made 13 of 21 three point attempts after entering the game as the No. 196 team in the country on shots from beyond the arc, their 61.9 percent shooting clip more than twice as good as their season average of 30.42 percent. Despite being less efficient, the Mountaineers made one more field goal and nine more free throws, and that was the difference as West Virginia moved within a game of the conference lead.

The Sooners opened the game on an 8-0 run, forcing Mountaineers’ head coach Mark Kellogg to call a timeout just 2:23 into the game. The two teams traded a pair of three-point volleys, but No. 24 West Virginia closed out the period on a 12-4 run to tie the game at 18.

The Mountaineers’ success continued into the second period, where they built a 26-20 lead. Oklahoma stormed back from there, taking a one point lead on a three-pointer from guard Payton Verhulst, who made six of eight shots from beyond the arc. Lauren Fields and Verhulst each made threes in the final 65 seconds, sending the Mountaineers to the locker room down 32-31.

The third period saw five lead changes and five ties as both teams jockeyed for position. Verhulst sank another three in the waning moments of the period to put the Sooners up 48-47 heading into the final frame.

Mountaineers Secure the Comeback

JJ Quinerly retook the lead on West Virginia’s second possession of the period on a play set up after a steal from Jordan Harrison. Jayla Hemingway made a three to push the lead to 52-48, and the Sooners called a timeout after committing another turnover with the Mountaineers’ crowd rocking.

West Virginia stayed one step ahead of the Sooners for the rest of the game, never giving up the lead. Verhulst sank her sixth three of the game just inside of two minutes, making it a one point game.

Quinerly drew a foul, making one free throw, then scored two more points off a turnover to reestablish the four point lead with 46 seconds to play; Hemingway contributed two more free throws, and Harrison added another.  Sooners guard Neveah Tot made a layup to cut the lead to five, then scored a three off a bad pass from Watson to make it a two point game.

Tavy Diggs missed a pair of free throws that would’ve sealed the game, but Tot did the same after drawing a foul with one second remaining, and the Mountaineers survived.

WVU Women’s Basketball moves to 22-3 on the season (11-3 Big 12), and now hold a 2-2 record against ranked teams. They’ll hit the road to take on No. 7 Kansas State at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 21.

Postgame Reaction

Get WVSN in your mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe to WVSN and receive notifications of new posts by email.