COLLEGE STATION, Texas — No. 11 West Virginia stayed undefeated by turning up its defense during a 70-56 victory over No. 18 Texas A&M in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Sunday in women’s basketball action.
Teana Muldrow finished with a game-high 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Kristina King had 14 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Mountaineers (7-0), who limited Texas A&M to season-low 33-percent shooting.
The Aggies (6-2) were especially cold during the middle quarters when they hit only 6-of-31 shots.
Freshman Chennedy Carter scored 20 points but Texas A&M’s other top threat, Danni Williams, finished 0-of-8 from the floor with just two points, 15 below her average. The 46-percent 3-point shooter was 0-of-6 from deep.
“When Danni went out, they’d zone us,” Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. “We didn’t have any consistency on getting the ball in. Our entry passes were nonexistent. Danni has carried us for two years. When she has an off night like this we’ve got other kids on scholarship who’ve got to be able to step up and make better decisions and better plays.”
Blair said West Virginia has “a chance to be an Elite Eight team” once last season’s All-Big 12 guard Tynice Martin returns from a preseason foot injury and 6-foot-6 Ohio State transfer Theresa Ekhelar becomes eligible.
“Muldrow is playing out position. She is a 3-4 and I have to play her at the 5 right now because of injuries,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “We have (Ekhelar) becoming eligible here after two more games, so Muldrow can move back to her regular position.”
Point guard Chania Ray contributed 16 points and six assists, while Katrina Pardee scored 10 for the Mountaineers, who won despite a 21-6 deficit in free-throw attempts. But WVU held a slight rebounding edge 43-41, while outscoring the Aggies 36-28 in the paint.
After taking control with a 15-2 run in the third quarter to lead 48-38, West Virginia didn’t relent in the fourth quarter, with Ray converting a four-point play after being fouled on a long jumper.
“It was a kind of sloppy game, but I told our team in there that I would rather win sloppy than lose pretty,” Carey said. “Our players did what they needed to do to win. It is a tough place to play and we played a real good team. To come in here and win that game is big for us.”
West Virginia will host Pitt on Thursday night.