The West Virginia University women’s basketball team experienced cold shooting in a 64-54 loss to No. 25/24 Oklahoma State on Wednesday at the WVU Coliseum.
“It was a shame. They came in here and played harder and wanted it more and we came out flat. We had two good days of practice and came out and played flat like that. I don’t have the answer,” coach Mike Carey said. “We stood around in the first half and shot a bunch of threes and were not hitting our threes. In the second half, at least we went inside some. They out-executed and played harder than we did.”
The Mountaineers (14-10, 6-7 Big 12) came out of a 35-25 halftime deficit shooting, as they started the second half on a 7-0 run. A pair of Liz Donohoe free throws extended the Cowgirls’ (17-6, 6-6 Big 12) lead back out to five, before Christal Caldwell sunk a three to make it a two-point game, 37-35, with 17:30 remaining. WVU maintained a single-digit deficit until the 14:10 mark when a Tiffany Bias jumper allowed OSU a 10-point lead, 47-37. The Mountaineers cut the discrepancy to five, 57-52, at the 3:52 mark, but Oklahoma State went on a 7-2 run to the buzzer to close out the win and split the season series.
WVU’s shooting decreased from 35.5 percent in the opening half to only 25.7 percent from the field. WVU finished the game shooting 30.3 percent (20-66). The Cowgirls experienced strong shooting from the start, with 55.2 percent (16-29) in the opening half, limiting the Mountaineers to only three points for the final 8:48 of the first half. OSU finished the game shooting 48 percent (24-50) from the field, including three 3-pointers. The Mountaineers recorded 18 attempts from beyond the arc, making 27.8 percent (5-18).
Oklahoma State took a four-point advantage from the free throw line, capitalizing with 92.9 percent (13-14), while WVU shot 50 percent (9-18) from the charity stripe. Although WVU limited its own turnovers to only 15 to OSU’s 23 giveaways, the Cowgirls recorded 20 points off turnovers to WVU’s 11.
“You look at the hustle points, they out-scored us in the paint 26-18; points off turnovers, they had 20, we had 11; second chance points, they had 15, we had 11. That tells you right there. They just outhustled us and battled more than we did. It is tough and it is a shame,” Carey said.
Two Mountaineers recorded scoring numbers in double figures, led by Averee Fields with a career-best 21 points and eight rebounds. Christal Caldwell added another 16 points for her 18th double-digit scoring game this season.
OSU’s Toni Young dominated the paint with 16 rebounds, helping the Cowgirls to a 43-36 benefit on the boards. Young added 12 points for a double-double and helped OSU to a season-high 11 team blocks with six of her own. Brittney Martin led OSU with a career-best 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field. Tiffany Bias chipped in 14 points, including 8-of-8 from the foul line, to go along with five assists and two steals.
The West Virginia women’s basketball team returns to the road for a 1:30 p.m. matchup with Iowa State on Sunday in Ames. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net.