West Virginia women’s basketball team set to host Texas

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia women’s basketball team, needing a bounce-back performance Sunday, doesn’t exactly have history on its side against No. 13 Texas.

The Mountaineers (9-3, 0-1 Big 12) struggled in their conference opener at TCU and will host the Longhorns (11-2, 1-0) at 4 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum.

Texas swept all three meetings last season and has won eight of the last nine.

“They’re a very good basketball team,” West Virginia coach Mike Carey said. “That’s why they’re ranked so high. They have good size, they have good guards, they have quickness. They play extremely hard. We’ll have to play the best game of the year to be in there with them. It’s going to be about the paint and being able to control the paint.”

Texas ranks fourth nationally in rebound margin at plus-15.2.

The Longhorns are on a four-game win streak despite losing guard Lashann Higgs (13 points per game) to a season-ending knee injury in November. Forward Jatarie White averages 11.8 points followed by guards Sug Sutton (10.8 points, 5.8 assists) and Danni Williams (10.1 points).

Texas coach Karen Aston expects a rugged matchup in Morgantown. West Virginia is holding opponents to 30-percent shooting, second-best in the Big 12.

“You kind of always know what you get when you play them,” she said. “They have great, great guards who can score the basketball and they’re very physical. It will be a good experience, and an enlightening one, for our young players.”

WVU sustained a 62-48 loss at TCU on Wednesday, finishing nearly 30 points below its season scoring average.

Tynice Martin’s 16.8 scoring average leads the Mountaineers, followed by Naomi Davenport (13.9). The team’s most accurate 3-point shooter at 45 percent, Katrina Pardee scores 13.6 per game and is among three seniors I the starting lineup.

ESPN2 will broadcast the matchup.

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