The Dominion Post  

3 seniors in the spotlight for Mountaineers’ women

Created on:   Fri, Feb 23, 2018   11:52 PM

Last modified:   Fri, Feb 23, 2018   11:52 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — So often we think of college senior athletes as the ones who came in as wide-eyed freshmen and worked their way up the totem pole until they became team leaders in a nice and neat four-year package.

The WVU women’s basketball team will celebrate three seniors Feb. 24.

Teana Muldrow, Chania Ray and Kristina King will play their final home game inside the WVU Coliseum, at 1 p.m., as the Mountaineers (20-8, 8-8 Big 12) host Oklahoma State (18-9, 9-7).

None of the three seniors experienced a neat four-year package, something that maybe made them a little better in the end.

“Nothing was handed to us,” said Ray, who needs four assists to break into WVU’s all-time top 10 after never having played point guard before arriving at WVU. “We all had to work for it.”

In just her third season with WVU, the Alexandria, Va., native has helped the Mountaineers reach two NCAA tournaments and led the Big 12 in assists last season.

Ray spent her freshman season at Florida State, but realized during her first semester that she had gone to school too far from home.

She transferred to WVU during the second semester of her freshman season and had to sit out until the next calendar year, per NCAA rules.

“Sitting out was definitely a rough process for me,” Ray said. “It also helped me in so many ways. My game grew. My mental toughness as a player grew. It takes a lot for any player to sit out a year, but I don’t think I would be the player I am today if not for that.”

Statistically, few WVU players have ever left their mark the way Muldrow has.

The senior from East Orange, N.J., is already in WVU’s top 10 in scoring (1,651 points), rebounds (896), double-doubles (22) and games played (133), but was relegated to bystander as a true freshman.

WVU head coach Mike Carey asked her to redshirt, because the Mountaineers were already loaded with upperclassmen at her position.

“It was hard to take at first, because every player comes here being the best player at their high school,” Muldrow said. “I wasn’t looking at the long run back then. Looking at it now, it was the best move I ever made, because it helped me grow so much as a person and it gave me another year to mature.”

King said she wished she had a four-year career with the Mountaineers.

The forward from Mebane, N.C., signed with the Mountaineers coming out of high school, but attended Gulf Coast State College, in Panama City, Fla., for two seasons when she didn’t meet eligibility requirements.

“I feel like we all got put in a position where we had to be tough,” King said. “As seniors, I feel like we do carry the team and we’ve had to set the tone.”

All three will need to set the tone one more time today against an Oklahoma State team that has lost three straight and is also looking to enhance its NCAA tournament resume. OSU features the Big 12’s leading scorer in senior guard Loryn Goodwin (20.7 ppg.), who put up 30 points in the Cowgirls’ 79-73 victory against WVU, on Jan. 17.

“We didn’t play well and they didn’t play well, either,” WVU head coach Mike Carey said. “She had 30 against us and that was the first time I had ever seen her play. She’s been to four different schools, so I never really saw her play, but I saw her that night.”

In her final WVU home game, Ray will match up against Goodwin for much of the game.

“We’ve got to play her tougher,” Ray said. “We had a slow game against Oklahoma State last time. We’ve got to guard her better defensively. That’s something I can do, personally. As players, we can’t be afraid. We can’t back off and let her play her game.”