WOMEN'S HOOP BLOG
By John Antonik for WVUsports.com
August 10, 2011 01:58 PM
|Coach Mike Carey talks to his team during a timeout during today's game against AMW All-Stars. West Virginia won the contest 75-63.
PARIS - West Virginia got 20 points and eight rebounds from Florida transfer Christal Caldwell to defeat the AMW All-Stars, 75-63, Wednesday evening in the Mountaineers’ first exhibition game of its eight-day tour of France and Italy.
“Overall, we did what I expected us to do,” said WVU coach Mike Carey. “We made a lot of mistakes – young mistakes – with a lack of experience on the floor at times, but I thought at least we did what we had to do to win the game.”
Taylor Palmer added 13 points and Jessica Harlee contributed 12 points and seven boards in the victory.
West Virginia led 39-34 at halftime, but fell behind in the third quarter until Palmer hit a big 3 at the buzzer to tie the game at 53. From there, the Mountaineers outscored AMW, 22-11, in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
“The last six minutes I had four freshmen in there and a junior,” said Carey. “When we did get behind we fought back and was able to build the lead to double figures, so I did like that. I think we picked it up, got into the passing lanes and made some things happen.”
West Virginia shot 50.9 percent from the floor (27 of 53) and hit 4 of 13 from 3, all four 3s coming from Palmer and Harlee.
Carey used a starting lineup consisting of Caldwell, Harlee, Brooke Hampton, Asya Bussie and freshman Crystal Leary.
“I thought some players played hard and some others (didn’t). I thought some of the others would play a little harder than they did, but I did like when we fell behind that we stepped it up,” he noted.
Defensively, the veteran coach thought his players performed well at times and at other times there were key breakdowns.
“That is to be expected,” Carey admitted. “We’ve got a lot of work. We knew that coming into this and we’ll have to continue to work hard to get better.”
Carey thought the team West Virginia faced today was the equivalent to a good American college team, particularly on the perimeter.
“They were very athletic. Two or three of their players are going to sign pro contracts so they had some good quickness on the perimeter,” he said. “They weren’t as big as us, but good quickness on the perimeter.
Carey was most pleased with the fact that his players were able to overcome jetlag to get a winning result so early in the trip.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Carey said. “Yesterday was a long day and then to play on the second day. We were able to get the win and now we don’t play again until the 16th. We will have a little bit of time to get our legs back under us and get ready.”
The team is finishing the day with a sight-seeing tour of Paris, including a trip to the Eiffel Tower. Look for photos from today’s visit to the Eiffel Tower on women’s basketball’s official Facebook page