The Dominion Post  

Sooners put-back seals win for O.U. over WVU women

Created on:   Sat, Feb 17, 2018   7:22 PM

Last modified:   Sat, Feb 17, 2018   7:22 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — A basketball season already filled with enough triumphs and heartaches took another twisted turn for the WVU women’s basketball on Feb. 17.

In the span of a wild 45 minutes, the Mountaineers were both conqueror and comeback artist; and also went from dominator to defeated.

In the end, WVU’s 79-77 overtime loss, in front of 4,326 fans inside the WVU Coliseum — the second largest crowd for a WVU women’s game this season — was a game the Mountaineers had no business losing and were lucky to be in all at the same time.

Oklahoma senior forward Vionise Pierre-Louis scored on an offensive rebound at the buzzer to hand the Sooners the win.

Replays confirmed moments later she got the shot off in time, after freshman Shaina Pellington drove to the basket with 6.8 seconds remaining, but came up short on the lay-up.

Pierre-Louis, who finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, was right there to put it back in.

“It was a great basketball game between two teams who were really fighting,” Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale said. “They played hard. We played hard. They made big shots. We made big shots.”

Breaking it all down, the Mountaineers (19-8, 7-8 Big 12) once held a 30-10 lead in the second quarter and kept the Sooners (14-12, 9-6) scoreless for 7:23 of game time that covered the end of the first quarter and the start of the second.

WVU guard Naomi Davenport had 19 of her 24 points by halftime and scored 14 of those in the first quarter on four 3-pointers.

“The basket looked pretty big,” Davenport said. “I really didn’t think about it. I just let it go.”

The flip side to that was Oklahoma came back and threatened to take control of the game. The Sooners held a 66-58 lead with 2:35 remaining in regulation with possession of the ball.

What happened?

“Katrina Pardee picked up her second foul and Kristina King picked up her second foul,” WVU head coach Mike Carey said. “We went to our bench and they chipped away.

“We had breakdowns on defense. We weren’t running offense. To make up for it, people started to go one-on-one and they chipped away.”

The final 2:35 of regulation was a story in itself and ended with Pardee nailing a 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Trailing by eight, WVU went into a full-court press — Carey later said the team had never worked it before — and forced two critical turnovers.

WVU forward Teana Muldrow, who finished with her 12th double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, scored a basket in the paint and then added a 3-pointer to cut the lead, 67-63, with 49 seconds left.

“I was disappointed, but the effort they gave at the end of the game with so many of them playing so many minutes.” Carey said. “They had a lot of heart. A lot of them have a lot of heart.”

The comeback continued when Pardee scored on a drive and then Muldrow scored again in the paint after she intercepted an Oklahoma pass on defense.

After Oklahoma guard Gabbi Ortiz connected on two free throws with 16.5 seconds remaining to give O.U. a 70-67 lead, the Mountaineers looked for Pardee and she connected with a 3-pointer to tie the game.

“I was coming off the screen and it was open,” said Pardee, who added 13 points.

All of that set up the final 33.1 seconds of overtime.

With the game tied at 77 and coming out of a timeout, Carey said the Mountaineers were either looking to get the ball to Davenport coming off a screen to help her to get some momentum toward the basket or find Muldrow on the other side of the lane.

“We executed the play, but it just wasn’t open,” Davenport said. “We couldn’t dwell on it.”

Instead, Kristina King took in the pass from Chania Ray, and took a contested shot from the left side that didn’t hit the rim and WVU was called for a shot-clock violation with 6.8 seconds left.

“We would always like to take that shot with an opportunity to rebound it,” Coale said. “The play was for Maddie [Manning] to catch it at the [foul line] and drive to the rim. Shaina recognized they were denying her so far out that she couldn’t make the pass, so she went to her instincts.”

Pellington’s drive got far enough that Muldrow had to slide off of Pierre-Louis to help contest the shot.

When the ball came off the rim, Pierre-Louis was in position and Muldrow couldn’t do anything to recover.

“Teana helped over and we didn’t help Teana and they scored,” Carey said. “That pretty much sums it up.”