MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia women’s basketball team experienced cold shooting in a 64-54 loss to No. 25 Oklahoma State on Wednesday.
“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 3s and were not hitting our 3s. 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 37-35 with 17:30 remaining. WVU maintained a single-digit deficit until the 14:10 mark when a Tiffany Bias jumper allowed OSU to lead 47-37. The Mountaineers later pulled within 57-52 at the 3:52 mark, but Oklahoma State closed with a 7-2 run to split the season series.
WVU’s shooting decreased from 35.5 percent in the opening half to only 25.7 percent in the second. WVU finished the game shooting 30.3 percent (20-of-66). The Cowgirls shot 55.2 percent (16-29) in the opening half and 48 percent (24-of-50) for the game.
Although WVU had only 15 turnovers to OSU’s 23 the Cowgirls recorded 20 points off turnovers to WVU’s 11.
“You look at the hustle points, they outscored 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,” Carey said.
The Mountaineers were led by Averee Fields with a career-best 21 points and eight rebounds. Caldwell added another 16 points.
“Maybe we got to comfortable but the definitely came out and wanted it more than we did,” Caldwell said. “You can’t do that on your home floor. We knew that they were going to come in here strong because we just beat them on their home floor, and we relaxed to much and it hurt us.”
OSU’s Toni Young dominated the paint with 16 rebounds, helping the Cowgirls to a 43-36 edge 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. 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 against Iowa State on Sunday. Iowa State defeated WVU 53-49 in Morgantown in January.