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Cold-shooting WVU women scrap to defeat Texas in overtime

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. West Virginia scored the final eight points of regulation and put away Texas in overtime, salvaging a 56-49 victory despite woeful shooting.

“If you shoot 26 percent from the floor, 35 percent from 3 and 60 percent from the foul line, you wouldn’t think you’d be standing here talking about a win. But that says a lot about our players’ determination and guts,” said WVU coach Mike Carey.

“I’m proud of them, but needless to say, we need to get a lot better.”

Despite of season-low 26-percent shooting, West Virginia (14-2, 3-1) used tight defense to avoid a second straight Big 12 loss. The Mountaineers got four steals from Averee Fields and forced 26 turnovers, bouncing back from Wednesday night’s 78-62 loss to No. 7 Baylor.

WVU held Texas (11-5, 2-2) scoreless for the final 3:30 of regulation and allowed only a free throw during the five-minute overtime period.

Fields scored 12 points, including a layup that tied the game at 48-all with 12.7 seconds left after a block by Asya Bussie.

After a Texas turnover, Bria Holmes missed a 3 at the end of regulation that could have won it, but she put WVU ahead for good with a 3-pointer at the 3:24 mark of OT.

Texas, which shot percent 35 percent for the game, was 0-of-5 from the floor in overtime with four turnovers.

Christal Caldwell also scored 12 points for WVU and Taylor Palmer added 10.

The Mountaineers committed half as many turnovers as Texas. Though WVU was outrebounded 49-45, some 22 of hose were offensive boards.

“Overall, all the hustles plays—we won the battles,” Carey said. “We had 22 offensive rebounds to their 14. We had 14 second-chance points to their eight. When you’re not shooting well and you’re not playing well, you have to win the hustle plays, and we did that.

“That’s two games now that if people watched the game, they would swear up and down we didn’t win. That’s the Oklahoma State game and this game. But give our girls credit, those people come off the bench and play extremely hard. They give us a push.”

The Longhorns were led by 13 points and six rebounds from center Imani McGee-Stafford. Nneka Enemkpali added 10 points and nine rebounds but also committed seven turnovers.

The Mountaineers visit Iowa State on Wednesday night.

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