West Virginia women open conference play with win at K-State

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The 19th-ranked West Virginia women’s basketball team earned its first win of the Big 12 season on Sunday afternoon, defeating Kansas State 74-63 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.

“First of all, give Kansas State credit,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “They came back. They’ll play hard. (Kansas State coach) Jeff (Mittie) has them playing hard for 40 minutes, so it didn’t surprise me. We gave up one offensive rebound in the first half and, I think, six in the second half. We just weren’t moving and weren’t playing defense. So, I’m a little disappointed in our second half, but we were able to hang on and win.”

West Virginia (11-1, 1-0 Big 12) was led by a career-high 24 points from redshirt junior guard Kysre Gondrezick, as she was one of three Mountaineers to finish in double-figure scoring.

Redshirt senior guard Tynice Martin and sophomore guard Madisen Smith score 18 points and 15 points, respectively. For the second consecutive game, freshman forward Esmery Martinez led WVU on the glass, grabbing seven rebounds. Gondrezick also tied her career high in assists with eight.

With her 18 points against the Wildcats, Martin now has 1,744 career points and passed Kate Bulger (2001-04; 1,733 points) for No. 6 on WVU’s all-time scorers’ list. She now needs nine points to pass Talisha Hargis (1995-98; 1,751 points) for No. 5 on the all-time scorers’ list.

The Mountaineers built a 17-point lead with 4:23 remaining in the game, but did not score again until 52 seconds remained in the fourth, when freshman forward Esmery Martinez added a layup to secure the Mountaineer’s 11th victory of the season.

West Virginia finished shooting 28-of-65 (43.1 percent) from the field, including 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) from three-point range. WVU’s 10 made threes tied its season high. The Mountaineers outrebounded the Wildcats 36-32 and forced 18 K-State turnovers. WVU assisted on 19 of its 28 made field goals.

Kansas State (6-6, 0-1) shot 24-of-55 (43.6 percent) and 1-of-15 (6.7 percent) from beyond the arc. Angela Harris led the K-State scoring effort with 16 points, and was one of four Wildcats to finish in double figures. Peyton Williams led Kansas State in rebounding with 10.

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