LUBBOCK, Texas — West Virginia women’s coach Mike Carey thought his players looked sluggish defensively and frequently out of position, a malady that led to the Mountaineers committing 30 fouls and Texas Tech owning an astonishing 42-9 edge in free-throw attempts.
The Lady Raiders made a season-high 36 of those foul shots, including a 9-for-9 night for Casey Morris, and defeated WVU 76-63 on Wednesday.
The Mountaineers (13-9, 5-6 Big 12) had more field goals, 3-pointers, rebounds, steals and assists, but missed a chance to pull even with Texas Tech (17-6, 7-4) in the league standings.
“We just looked slow, even when we were pressing them,” Carey said. “We were reaching and not moving our feet and it carried over on the offensive side. Give them credit. They drove it right at us and that’s what hurt us.”
The Mountaineers experienced cold shooting from the start, shooting 7-of-38 the opening half, for a mere 18.4 percentage. The Lady Raiders staged runs of 7-0 and 11-0 to lead 29-17 at halftime.
“We had good looks and missed a bunch of them and we’ve been shooting the ball pretty well,” Carey said.
A Christal Caldwell jumper with 11:03 remaining in the second half, cut the deficit to44-39, the closest WVU came in the second half. WVU improved its shooting to make 54 percent (18-of-33) in the second half and finished the game at 35.2 percent. Texas Tech shot 39 percent.
Taylor Palmer led WVU in scoring with 19 points and Caldwell added 15 points. Averee Fields chipped in 12 points.
Jess Harlee led WVU with eight boards, helping WVU to a 41-37 rebounding advantage.
With Texas Tech whistled for only 11 fouls, WVU went just 6-of-9 at the foul line.
Morris led Tech with 20 points, Chynna Brown had 17, while Kelsi Baker and Monique Smalls each scored 13. Baker led Tech’s rebounding with eight boards and had three blocks, helping the Lady Raiders to six team blocks.
WVU visits Kansas on Saturday for a 3 p.m. matchup.