The Dominion Post  

WVU’s Ray finds a way to contribute anyway

Created on:   Wed, Nov 22, 2017   4:16 PM

Last modified:   Wed, Nov 22, 2017   4:16 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Chania Ray turned what could have been a disastrous day into one of the most memorable of her WVU women’s basketball career.

The senior point guard’s shots weren’t falling in a 87-59 victory No. 19, over North Florida, but she recorded her first double-double, dishing out 10 assists and pulling down a career-high 11 rebounds.

“Chania is a total team player,” said WVU coach Mike Carey, whose 11th-ranked team (3-0) takes on Butler (3-1) at noon Nov. 23, in the Paradise Jam, in Melbourne, Fla.

“She wasn’t hitting her shots, but she went and got 11 rebounds and 10 assists and contributed to the team.”

Carey is hopeful that her teammates noticed.

“That’s what everybody has to do,” he said. “When you’re not hitting your shot, you still have to contribute to the team, either by rebounding, taking a charge, diving on the floor or setting up other players who are hitting their shot. Chania has done that since she’s been there.”

Ray, who averages 7.7 points per game, missed nine of her 12 shots from the floor against North Florida and is shooting 28.1 percent (9 of 32) overall.

She’s connected on only one of her 13 3-point attempts (7.7 percent).

Ray, though, remains upbeat as the Mountaineers begin play in the Sunshine State.

“I think, mechanically, everything is there,” said Ray, who shot 33.7 percent from the field last season. “I think they’ll start falling soon, hopefully in this tournament. It’s not the end of the road. We have other players who can take on that (scoring) role.”

That isn’t Ray’s focus anyway.

“I always tell my teammates I’d rather get an assist than score points myself,” she said. “That’s just how my mentality is. I know my role on the team. If I have to, I will try and create for myself. If I don’t need to, I’m willing to do whatever is necessary.”

Ray and her teammates expect to be tested by a Butler team off to its best start since 1990. The Bulldogs suffered their first loss Monday night, falling, 71-55, to No. 17 South Florida, in Tampa.

“They are a scrappy team,” Ray said. “They play hard. They are always moving. They run a lot of sets and can score the ball. They pretty much do it all. They will come to play.”

Carey said one poor quarter damaged Butler’s upset hopes Monday. The Bulldogs, who went 6-25 a year ago, were outscored by 15 points in the second quarter, but they played South Florida evenly in the other three.

Tori Schickel, a 6-foot-1 forward-center, scored 18 points, snatched 15 rebounds and blocked four shots. Point guard Whitney Jennings matched Schickel’s scoring output.

“They have a great point guard, a great center,” Carey said. “They have some players. They are much improved, a really good team.”

Carey said the same thing about the teams the Mountaineers face Friday (Drexel) and Saturday (Virginia Tech).

“It’s going to be a great tournament, but it’s a tournament we need,” he said. “We need to go out and play some better people. That way, our players understand we have a long way to go.”