NORFOLK, Va. – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team saw its NCAA Tournament run come to an end at the hands of No. 2 Stanford, 72-55, at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Monday night.
The Mountaineers (24-10) held leading scorers and sisters Chiney and Nnemkadi Ogwumike below their scoring averages at just 13 and 16 points, respectively, but it wasn’t enough to overcome cold shooting and turnovers on their own end.
WVU was within four points until the 11:10 mark of the opening half when Stanford went on a 17-0 run, including a pair of threes from Joslyn Tinkle. The Mountaineers started to fight back with a 7-2 run until halftime, entering the locker room down 38-21. The double-digit deficit was too much to overcome.
“We weren’t efficient on the offensive end,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “On the defensive end, we took away the sisters a little bit in the first half and then midway through we had to stop doing that because their point guard was just killing us. They were getting into the paint and we weren’t getting over the picks. We weren’t doing what we needed to do.”
Turnovers also proved costly for West Virginia, as the team ended the night having committed 13 turnovers from which Stanford capitalized and scored 19 points.
West Virginia was 31.1 percent (19-61) from the field, 22.2 percent (4-18) from 3-point range and converted 81.3 percent (13-16) from the line. However, Stanford ended the night having converted 42.6 percent (23-of-54) from the field and 25.0 percent (3-of-12) from beyond the arc while getting an offensive boost at the foul line, converting 76.7 percent (23-of-30).
“We took more shots than they did,” said Carey. “We just didn’t make them. We took 18 threes and only made four. A lot of them were wide open, but some of them weren’t wide open because of their (Stanford’s) length.”
The Mountaineers were led in scoring by redshirt-junior Ayana Dunning
, who posted 14 points and pulled down a team-leading nine rebounds in 30 minutes of play. She was followed by junior Asya Bussie
who scored 11 points, and true freshman Linda Stepney
who rounded out the top three scorers with nine points.
West Virginia continued its dominance on the boards, out-rebounding Stanford, 41-37. The Mountaineers ended the season having out-rebounded all but five opponents.
The Cardinal (33-1) was led by Amber Orrange who posted 18 points against the Mountaineers. Behind her, Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike rounded out the top three scorers.
“I told the girls in the locker room I am really proud of them for this season,” Carey said. “Nobody expected us to be at this point at this time of the year. Give Stanford credit. They are a great team with great players. I told our girls they can learn from some of the things they saw today.”