By Grant Dovey for MSNsportsNET.com
March 15, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia women’s basketball team will travel to Austin, Texas, as it faces Lamar in the first round of the NCAA Tournament’s Memphis Region on Sunday, March 21. Tip-off at the Frank Erwin Center is set for 9:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
The Mountaineers earned the No. 3 seed in the bracket after coming off their second-ever trip to the Big East Tournament title game, where they fell to Connecticut. WVU’s record stands at 28-5 with juniors Liz Repella, Korinne Campbell and freshman Asya Bussie all averaging double-figures.
“I figured that we would be a No. 3 seed, but I am very disappointed that once again we may have to play a team on their home court,” coach Mike Carey said of No. 6 seed Texas, a possible second-round matchup. “Of course we have to win the first game first. We have to get by Lamar and then if we do that, and Texas wins, there is a possibility that could be the matchup in the second round, and I am very disappointed we have to play on somebody’s home court.”
No. 14-seed Lamar, is coming off an 86-59 victory for the league title in the Southland Conference and are coached by Larry Tidwell. Tournament MVP Darika Hill registered her third double-double of the tournament in the win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Lady Cardinal will come into the game with a 26-7 record. Jenna Plumley leads the team averaging 14.4 points per game, followed by Hill at 13.4 and Kalis Loyd at 13.2.
“I don’t know anything about Lamar’s team but I know their coach real well,” Carey said. “He is a great guy. He used to be an assistant coach at TCU, and I am good friends with him, so it will be good to see him, but I don’t know anything about his team.”
Plumley, an Oklahoma transfer, was named the player of the year, as well as the newcomer of the year by the Southland Conference. Plumley also set a conference record for 3-pointers in a season with 97 and broke the Lamar assists record with 196. She ranks in the top 10 nationally in both categories.
This will be the first time that the two teams have met.
West Virginia is making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the third in the past four seasons. The Mountaineers are 4-5 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
The winner of the WVU-Lamar game will face the winner of the Texas-San Diego State contest on Tuesday, March 23.