OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Determined not to suffer through a second straight subpar game, Bria Holmes put her mind on driving to the basket.

Holmes’ aggression helped save No. 7 West Virginia from a clunky offensive effort Sunday. She scored 23 points and matched the entire Texas team by attempting 14 free throws as the Mountaineers prevailed 67-60 in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.

Next up for West Virginia (29-3) on Monday night: A third showdown against regular-season co-champ Baylor (28-4).

Holmes, who missed all five of her 3-pointers against TCU during Friday’s quarterfinal, went 2-of-6 from deep against Texas (21-11) but emphasized more penetration to pressure the Longhorns, who committed 29 fouls.

“I noticed my outside shot wasn’t falling yesterday, so today I decided to attack the basket more,” said Holmes.

Christal Caldwell was pivotal at the line also, going 8-of-8 on her way to 15 points. Taylor Palmer added 10 points off the bench as WVU made 28-of-37 free throws, compared to just 14-of-18 for Texas.

The free-throw discrepancy was crucial as West Virginia shot just 36 percent but managed to win its 12th consecutive game.

“Well, the two games we played Texas before, it was physical, wasn’t pretty, so it doesn’t surprise me this wasn’t a very pretty game,” said coach Mike Carey.

The Longhorns’ committed 18 turnovers and their top inside players, Nneka Enemkpali and Imani McGee-Stafford, combined for only 11 points, less than half their average.

“Our team has a habit of wanting to score off the first pass, and that works sometimes,” said Texas coach Karen Aston. “But then we run up against a team like West Virginia that really takes away our first option and we don’t get to the second option.”

Averee Fields scored only four points but her basket with 2:36 left put WVU up 62-57 after Texas charged back from a 10-point deficit. Fields drew a bang-bang charge foul at the 1:49 mark costing Longhorns guard Empress Davenport a basket and a chance at a three-point play.

Chassidy Fussell led Texas with 15 points but fouled out with 3:49 to go. Nekia Jones finished with 14 points off the bench.

Texas outrebounded West Virginia 41-30 and blocked seven shots.

“It’s funny but we said coming into this (tournament) about a week ago, two of the teams we didn’t want to see was Texas and TCU because both of them play great defense, both of them were very physical,” Carey said. “So we played two very physical teams going in, and now we’re going to end up playing three physical teams back to back to back.”
BIG 12 TOURNAMENT RESULTS
Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena
Championship—Monday
9 p.m. No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 2 West Virginia
Semifinals—Sunday
Baylor 65, Oklahoma State 61
West Virginia 67, Texas 60
Quarterfinals—Saturday
Oklahoma State 67, Iowa State 57
Baylor 81, Kansas 47
West Virginia 67, TCU 59
Texas 82, Oklahoma 72
First round—Friday
Kansas 87, Kansas State 84 (OT)
TCU 75, Texas Tech 59


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Comments

  • WVU FAN

    Wow, way to go Ladies!!!!!
    I want to find away to watch the girls play tonight!!!! I would love to be there cheering them on... Let's Gooooooooooo!!! Mountaineeeeeers!!!

  • Pghmountaineer

    It's a lot to ask to beat Baylor twice in one year, but if any team can do it, it's these Ladies.
    Go EERS!
    Win or loose tonight they have made WVu very proud. What a great bunch of student athletes.

  • WVU fan in Boston

    Watched the game on FoxSports1 from Boston. Great game of mental toughness and grit. Look forward to watchin the championship game tonight here in Boston.
    Let's Go Mountaineers!!

  • jay zoom

    once again the ladies have proven they are number one of WVU sports and after tonight they will be a number one seed in the tourney. way to go ladies keep the faith have the confidence in yourselves because the Lady mountaineer faithful does and last but not least DON'T EVER GIVE UP because we won't.

  • Billy

    This is a very historical team. They will be mentioned in years to come. It has been fun watching this team play. I hope that the game tomorrow is called fairly. Seems like Simms for Baylor gets a lot of friendly whistles.

  • Country Roads

    Way to go ladies so proud of you. One more to go. Hoping you can pull it off against Baylor. I love it .

  • Aaron

    That was a very physical game. WV hit just enough shots and TX missed enough for a WV victory.

    Hopefully 2 physical games don't take their toll on WV's legs.

    Keep it rolling Mountaineers.

  • 4WVUinKY

    Go lady Mountaineers! We're very proud of you! Beat the Bears!

  • Dustin

    If this doesn't get them a solid number 2 in the NCAA I don't know what will. Good luck against Baylor.

    • Mike

      If they beat Baylor, they should be considered for a 1 seed. What a fantastic season for Carey and the girls team. One of the best of any team - boys or girls - in school history!

  • BH

    Congratulations and continued success! Beat the Baylor Bears-you can do it!!!