The Dominion Post  

Mountaineers running out of chances headed to KSU

Created on:   Mon, Feb 19, 2018   10:41 PM

Last modified:   Mon, Feb 19, 2018   10:40 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Times became desperate for the WVU women’s basketball team, following its loss at home to Oklahoma last Saturday.

With three games remaining in the regular season, the Mountaineers need to boost their resume with hopes of an NCAA tournament berth hanging in the balance. Head coach Mike Carey said his team needs to win two of its final four games. One of those chances is gone, so the next is Feb. 20, at Kansas State.

This is the second meeting with the Wildcats (13-13, 5-10), the first being a 60-52 KSU win, on Jan. 3.

It was a great defensive effort for the Mountaineers (19-8, 7-8), but it was arguably the worst offensive game they played this season. WVU’s guards combined to shoot 3 of 30 from the floor, and as a team, shot 4 of 26 from beyond the arc.

Forward Teana Muldrow was the only player to score in double-figures, with 25 points.

“I don’t know who you’re going to beat when you shoot 3 for 30,” Carey said. “That was a close game because of how well we played defensively. We just didn’t hit any shots. This time, we’ll have to hit some shots and get in the paint. We can’t settle for 3s like we did last time.”

Kansas State wasn’t much better than WVU in the last meeting on the offensive end. The Wildcats shot 36 percent from the floor. Guard Peyton Williams led KSU, with 22 points. She leads the team on the season, averaging 14.1 points per game.

Recently, they have not played well, losing four of five, including two in a row, against Texas and TCU.

But WVU has to bounce back quickly from the overtime loss to the Sooners. Leading by as many 20 points in the second quarter, the Mountaineers let O.U. back into the game, but a stormed back late to force overtime after a Katrina Pardee 3-pointer to tie it and force OT.

“I thought our girls played extremely hard, especially to send it to overtime,” Carey said. “It’s the same ol’ story, we get into foul trouble and wear down at the end, but being down eight and being able to tie it, they did a pretty good job.”

Guard Chania Ray played all 45 minutes against the Sooners despite nursing a sprained knee. She had 12 assists to just three turnovers and Carey hopes to have her today.

“I didn’t let her go [Monday] because she played over 40 minutes the other night,” Carey said. “She’s really sore, so we’re just letting her go through the motions and not letting her do anything live right now.”

WVU will have forward Kristina King, who did not play in the first meeting against KSU while she recovered from a fractured foot.

After today’s game, the Mountaineers will end the regular season with a home game Saturday, against Oklahoma State, and will finish on the road, versus No. 3 Baylor. While the NCAA bubble is growing, Carey is taking it one game at a time.

“I told the girls after the loss Saturday that we have to move on and concentrate on Kansas State right now,” he said. “All of our focus has to be on that right now, not the tournaments. We need to go out and beat Kansas State, and then we’ll worry about that when we come back home.”