The Dominion Post  

WVU women’s basketball team visits No. 18 Aggies

Created on:   Sat, Dec 2, 2017   11:24 PM

Last modified:   Sat, Dec 2, 2017   11:24 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — About another 45 days from now, Mike Carey would feel much better about this top 25 match-up.

As it stands, his 11th-ranked Mountaineers (6-0) will travel to College Station, Texas, and face 18th-ranked Texas A&M, (6-1) at
8 p.m. Dec. 3, in what will be their first true road game of the season.

The match-up is part of the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge.

“They’re a tough team on the road. I’m sure they’ll have a great crowd,” Carey said. “There’ll be a lot of excitement and they’ll be ready to play. Hopefully, we’ll be ready to play.

“We need to go into an atmosphere like that and see how our younger players react to that type of situation.”

While the Aggies feature a backcourt of highly recruited stars in freshman Chennedy Carter and junior Dannie Williams, the Mountaineers’ lineup will be without guard Tynice Martin and center Theresa Ekhelar.

Martin is still recovering from a preseason foot injury, and Ekhelar, a 6-foot-6 transfer from Ohio State, won’t be eligible until after WVU’s final exams are complete.

Ekhelar is expected to be ready to play when WVU hosts Morgan State, on
Dec. 18.

“It’d be nice (if the Challenge were next month). Hopefully, we would have more of our players healthy,” Carey said. “It’s going to be a good game. They have a lot of great athletes, which is typical of good SEC teams.”

Carter, averaging a team-high 18.9 points per game, was the No. 6 overall player in the 2017 recruiting class and is the highest-ranked women’s player to sign with Texas A&M.

She’ll be joined by the sharp-shooting Williams, who was the 35th overall recruit of the 2015 class.

Williams averages
17 points and leads the Aggies with 22 3-pointers.

The Texas A&M duo represent the biggest backcourt challenge the Mountaineers have faced so far this season.

“They’re big-time players,” Carey said. “They have the green light. They can hit the 3 and they can drive you and they have good size and they’re physical.”

Carey said the Aggies are a physical team that likes to full-court press and play an up-tempo style.

Texas A&M also features junior forward Anriel Howard, who averages a double-double (13.6 points, 12.3 rebounds), and senior center Khaalia Hillsman, who is 6-5 and scores
11.6 points per game.

“Normally, I like playing a physical team,” Carey said. “I don’t know how physical we can get without getting into foul trouble, because we’re not very deep.

“Normally, I would love a game where people are banging around and there’s bodies on the floor, but we have to be very smart and not get caught up in all of that.”

Carey’s instructions to WVU guards Chania Ray, Naomi Davenport and Katrina Pardee will be simple:

“Please, just make it through,” Carey said. “Teana (Muldrow), too, on the inside. We just have to stay out of foul trouble.

“Naomi, when she gets tired, she has a tendency to start reaching. We need to stay out of foul trouble.

“If we can stay out of foul trouble and keep them off the offensive boards, we’ll be right there going into the fourth quarter. My biggest thing is just get it to the fourth quarter and then we’ll just go for it.”