MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After squandering an 11-point halftime lead, West Virginia found a way past Texas thanks to some late heroics from Kysre Gondrezick.
Trailing 61-60 with 45 seconds left, Kari Niblack grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw. Niblack passed the ball back outside to Gondrezick who calmly drained a 3-pointer to give the Mountaineers a lead and eventually a 68-63 win.
“I can sit here and beat a dead horse and say I didn’t shoot the ball well from the field but I made the one that mattered,” said Gondrezick. “Kari to get that rebound was huge.”
Niblack had a game-high twelve rebounds despite sustaining a knee injury in the third quarter.
“At first, I was hurting real bad,” Niblack said. “But once I got moving it felt a little bit better.”
“She showed a lot of heart getting in there,” WVU head coach Mike Carey said of Niblack. “A lot of players would not have come back from that. Give her a lot of credit.”
West Virginia led 17-10 after the first quarter and extended that cushion to 34-23 at halftime. But the Longhorns rallied in the third quarter, outscoring the Mountaineers 25-13 to take a 48-47 lead. After WVU regained the lead early in the fourth, an 8-0 Texas run gave the Longhorns a 56-52 edge with six minutes to play.
“You can’t show up and play like that against West Virginia,” said Texas head coach Karen Aston. “They’re really good. Credit them for being ready to play because we weren’t.”
Gondrezick scored 21 points for West Virginia. Tynice Martin led all scorers with 23 points.
“You just have to win these big games for the (NCAA Tournament) resume,” Carey said. “When we got behind, the crowd was great. The crowd was fantastic. Then we tied it up and you couldn’t hear anything in there. That’s probably why we went ahead and won because they couldn’t hear me.”
West Virginia (13-1) has won nine consecutive games and they improved to 3-0 in Big 12 play. They will host Oklahoma Wednesday.