Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Though West Virginia guard Bria Holmes (23) missed 11-of-12 shots from 3-point range against Albany, coach Mike Carey encourages her to keep firing when the Mountaineers face LSU in Tuesday night’s second-round NCAA game.

 

BATON ROUGE, La. — Despite Bria Holmes going 1-of-12 on 3-pointers in her last game, Mike Carey demands she keep shooting.

Despite West Virginia’s women being 0-7 in NCAA second-round games, the coach surmises the program is bound to break through sometime.

And despite being forced to play on a lower-seeded team’s home court, Carey adopts a that’s-life attitude and guarantees his team will play well at LSU on Tuesday night.

“It’s going to be a tough atmosphere, but we’ve played in tough atmospheres this year,” he said in advance of the 9:30 p.m. tip-off.

“You go to the NCAA tournament, you’re going to play tough games, and you’re not going to play them at your home arena.  If you want to move on to the next level, you have to play against good teams, and sometimes you have to play them on their home floor.”

West Virginia’s history as a March Madness road team is riddled with March sadness—a 1-5 record and an average losing margin of 13 points. But never before was WVU sporting a 30-win team, loaded with five contributing seniors and three 1,000-point scorers.

“My philosophy is if you can get to that point, eventually hopefully you win one. If you keep knocking on the door, hopefully it’s going to open up for you a little bit.,” Carey said. “Our teams have done a great job to get to this point, and we need to take the next step in the NCAA tournament. And we have another opportunity. Now, hopefully we can take advantage of that.”

Inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, LSU was a No. 6 seed last year when it upset a top-10 team, Penn State. This time around the Tigers (20-12) are a No. 7 seed and coming off a 98-78 pasting of Georgia Tech. That was a season-high scoring output for LSU, which carved though the Yellow Jackets’ press.

“Our style is not Georgia Tech’s style,” Carey said. “We’re not going to stand out there and press and give you lay-ups all day. We’re going to try to put a body on you.”

Christal Caldwell’s career-high 26 points helped West Virginia dispatch 15th-seeded Albany 76-61 in Sunday’s opening round. The senior guard also made a team-high three steals and thinks the Mountaineers defense can slow down LSU.

“They get out in transition and they try to score early—if you give them a lay‑up, they’ll take it,” she said. “But still, our defense if we play the way we can, I think we can turn them over a lot.”

Holmes scored 20 points against Albany despite an ice-cold day from the perimeter. That didn’t alter Carey’s approach to green-lighting his shooters, and he’s especially dismissive of limiting an All-Big 12 player such as Holmes.

“I heard Bria saying to a couple of teammates, ‘I’m not taking a 3 the next game,’ and I said, ‘You will or you’ll come out of the game.’ If that’s your shot, shoot it. Shooters may miss five in a row, but you’re liable to hit five in a row, too, the next five, so you can’t take that confidence away. If it’s a good shot and that’s their role on this basketball team, then shoot it.”

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Comments

  • Mister Man

    Didn't Coach C. voice his opinion on hosting tourney games?

  • John S. Shackelford

    Mike Carey better understand that the LSU women's basketball team is the last of his worries. The NCAA has a record of lower rated (but name) teams getting home court advantage. Their selections for hosting a sub regional is to make sure that the team they want left in the tournament is LSU and not WVU. They stink. Also should watch the officials, because they are likely to do the will of the NCAA and homer WVU. Watch out. Your problem advancing have nothing to do with a college basketball team.

  • TW EAGLE

    usually a conservative and positive person , I am somewhat concerned that the officiating will hang early fouls on the WVU front line to make them reticent in challenging the ball movement into the lane and along the baseline . . .

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

  • jay zoom

    (another thought) look at the number of comments the ladies receive on the web vs the men. I don't know how many of the commentators attended womens games but I do. Attendence at the ladies games was a disgrace. if we want respect maybe if the fan base showed respect the media and the NCAA would as well. LOVE YOU LADIES

    • LDB

      If I am in the area it doesn't matter the sport the Mountaineers are playing I try to attend. Those that don't watch the ladies are missing some good basketball played with a lot of feeling and heart. Good luck ladies.

  • jay zoom

    at least the ladies have given up something to cheer about. there is a couple other sports programs that made us proud. they know who they are. As far as Oliver Luck wanting us in the big time - that will never happen as long as he is A.D. and he is in the parking lot looking for $20.00 -- tonight the LADY MOUNTAINEERS will make us proud again - give all the credit to the ladies and Coach Carey and no one else

    • rock solid

      @jay zoom: You don't have to live in the biggest house to be the classiest people on the block. Of course you wouldn't know about class. You don't even recognize you have one of the best ADirectors in the country. One of the reasons we have such a poor boy reputation is we have aholes like you sucking up our air.

  • Mountaineer Fanatic 44

    We have to win to get people to respect us. If we win the tournament this year maybe we will have home court advantage next year.
    Why, as a 2 seed, are we looking up to a 7 seed? We are better than LSU. Now is the time to show them just how much better we are. LETS GOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS

  • Mr. Rogers

    Hey here's an idea. What does WVU have to do to get our home court NCAA approved to host these games so we don't have to play someone else on their home court in a second round game? Ollie wants to us to play in the big time maybe he should be working on making our home "The Big Time" place to be!

    • Matt

      Everyone needs to get their facts straight. The NCAA did consider Morgantown. WVU was offered a chance to host 1st and 2nd round games this year. They had to turn it down because the WVU Coliseum was already booked for the Big 12 Gymnastics Tournament.

    • Aaron

      Bid the games.

    • TW EAGLE

      well ,Morgantown needs an airport large enough to accommodate airplanes arriving from "large" cities . . . NOT YET . . . WVU's coliseum & dlesk soccer stadium need the locker room facilities to FULLY accommodate four or more teams at the same time . . . NOT SURE if this exists . . . the new baseball facility WILL have the ability to stage a tournament . . . SO , I guess the MMA expansion (planned) will be done by the time the baseball field will be completed . . .

  • Aaron

    Garrett Cullen summed it up very last night. The NCAA have to decide what is more important, revenue of doing what is right and fair.

    Sounds reasonable but come on man, this is the NCAA. When have they ever done what's fair and right?

    • Dave

      It's pretty obvious that the NCAA has already made that decision.

      • Aaron

        Up to this point. I think it changes next year in that the higher seeds will be given an opportunity to host first round games.

        That's still not enough. If they want to act in fairness, they eliminate games on home courts. Do it like the men do and not allow home teams to host venues.

        They could host first round venues in sites like the Georgetown gym last year and not have to pay for 15,000 seat arena's to sell 1500 tickets. With ESPN, money shouldn't be an issue as the revenue would at the very least cover cost. If not, ask for more money.