LAWRENCE, Kan. — West Virginia’s Ayana Dunning scored 17 points, paving the way to a 72-56 women’s basketball victory over Kansas on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
“YaYa, especially in the second half, our players were doing a good job getting the ball to her,” coach Mike Carey said. “She was hitting some shots and finishing, and when YaYa plays well, we play well.
“I hate to put all that pressure on her, but I will.”
Christal Caldwell chipped in 15 points for the Mountaineers (14-9, 6-6 Big 12), who shot 43.8 percent from the field, their season high in Big 12 play.
Caldwell hit a 3-pointer to spark a 10-0 WVU run and a 60-46 lead with 6:33 remaining. The Jayhawks (14-8, 5-6) missed five jumpers and committed rwo turnovers during the stretch. WVU held Kansas to only four points until Asia Boyd hit a three with just under two minutes to play. Running out of time and in desperation to score, Boyd’s final four 3-point attempts were off the mark, while WVU converted 3-of-6 free throw attempts to seal the win.
The Jayhawks entered the game with the second-highest field goal percentage in the Big 12, shooting 42.8 percent, and were held to only 36.8 percent. WVU held Kansas nine points under its season scoring average.
Kansas’ Carolyn Davis dominated the paint with 14 points in the first half, but was held scoreless in the second half. She finished with a game-leading 11 rebounds though Kansas was out-board 45034.
“In the first half they were hurting us in the paint with Davis,” Carey said. “We made some adjustments at halftime and did a good job on her the second half. That was the key.”
Dunning led the Mountaineers in scoring for the fifth time this season and matched Averee Fields for the team lead in rebounding with nine.
The Mountaineers forced 15 Kansas turnovers, while limiting their own to a season-low nine.
KU’s Angel Goodrich added nine points, six assists and six rebounds.
“Angel Goodrich is one of the better point guards in the country, and I thought we did a good job on her,” Carey said. “She can hurt you at any time. She can drive it and shoot it and I thought our girls did a good job on her.”
The West Virginia women return home for a 7 p.m. game against Oklahoma State on Wednesday.