OKLAHOMA CITY – Big 12 Freshman of the Year Tynice Martin scored a season-high 20 points and No. 22 West Virginia pulled away in the second half to eliminate Kansas State 74-65 late Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 women’s championship.
After seven ties and 16 lead changes, third-seeded West Virginia (24-8) took control in the third quarter when Martin’s jumper tied the game at 43 before she converted a Bria Holmes steal into a layup.
“I think we’re very difficult to beat,” Martin said. “I think we’re the deepest team in the league so when we do put the bench in, it gives us another push.”
Jessica Morton finished with 16 points and five rebounds, while Holmes had 10 points and five boards. Teana Muldrow scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds.
“First, I thought both teams played hard,” said Mountaineers coach Mike Carey. “I thought the first half we struggled to score and struggled to do what we do defensively, but we were able to hang in there and keep it close. Then the second half there was a 5-minute span where we got our defense going a little bit and built the lead up to double figures.”
The sixth-seeded Wildcats (18-12), led by Megan Deines’ 22 points, trailed by 54-49 after three periods before WVU used an 8-2 run to open the fourth quarter.
The Mountaineers face No. 6 Texas, the second seed, Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern in a semifinal that will be televised nationally on FS1.