MORGANTOWN — For just a split second Saturday, history nearly repeated itself for the WVU women’s basketball team.
Not the good kind, either.
For a second consecutive game, the Mountaineers started off slow in the second half, but this time they survived.
Jayla Hemingway and J.J. Quinerly both recorded double-doubles, as WVU held off Texas Tech, 67-57, in front of 2,710 fans inside the Coliseum.
“This game, we wanted to make sure we pushed the pedal to the metal,” said Hemingway, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. “We kept pushing really hard and finished the game.”
That’s not what happened earlier in the week in a road loss against Kansas, in which the Jayhawks erased a 14-point halftime deficit and ended up winning by 19.
Texas Tech, too, got hot to start the second half, making six of its first 10 shots and eventually took a 45-40 lead midway through the fourth quarter, as the Mountaineers (13-5, 4-3 Big 12) needed more than seven minutes just to make their first basket in the second half.
“We talked at halftime about getting back into the game,” Texas Tech head coach Krista Gerlich said. “You point out the positives and we had seen the difficulties they went through. I thought once we got back into the game, we kind of relaxed.”
This time, though, the Mountaineers responded.
“Stuff happens and they went on a run,” said Quinelry, who added 16 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. “I didn’t get too worried about it. I stayed with my team. Everyone said they were good. We just had to keep attacking the rim.”
Which is what Quinerly did, getting herself to the free-throw line six times in the fourth quarter, as her teammates bombed away from 3-point range.
WVU hit five threes in the fourth to pull away.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well from the arc, but we made some timely shots,” WVU head coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. “We executed down the stretch, and we got to the free-throw line. Those are big things. I thought our ladies showed a lot of toughness.”
Much of that toughness could be credited to Quinerly, while listed at just 5-foot-8, she didn’t shy away from going inside to rebound the ball.
“I just like to go get rebounds,” Quinerly said with a smile. “I can jump pretty high, so I can go get it.”
Plitzuweit said there’s more to Quinerly’s game than just how high she jumps.
“It’s really fun to watch, and J.J. found a way today to make a major impact on the game in a way that maybe we haven’t seen as much,” Plitzuweit said. “I think it’s something she’s continuing to learn as she continues to grow, that she’s someone who can do so many different things.”
With the win, WVU has won four of its last five and finds itself right in the middle of the Big 12 standings.
Madisen Smith added 17 points and six assists for WVU.
Texas Tech (15-5, 3-4) was led by Bre’Amber Scott’s 18 points and seven rebounds.