MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team fell 60-59 to No. 21/20 Kansas on Saturday at the WVU Coliseum.
The Jayhawks (11-2, 2-0) handed the Mountaineers (8-5, 0-2) their second-consecutive Big 12 loss in the final minutes of play. Kansas pulled away from a tie at 56 with only 57 seconds remaining as Angel Goodrich found Carolyn Davis in the paint for a quick layup. A WVU foul to buy time put Natalie Knight at the line, where she converted both free throws with five seconds remaining. Brooke Hampton
found Taylor Palmer
for a 3-pointer, but the Mountaineers ran out of time.
“It is easy to look back but I probably should have went zone a couple of possessions there and try and cut down the penetration,” coach Mike Carey said. “I give (Angel) Goodrich credit. She took over the game with more than a minute to go. She either got fouled or set somebody else up.”
West Virginia led by as many as 13 points, 17-4, at the 12:58 mark in the first half, but Kansas continued to chip away until it was a one-point game, 31-30, at halftime. The second half had three ties, with the Mountaineers pulling away for a six-point lead at the 7:22 mark, 48-42. Over the next five minutes, Kansas would go on a 12-6 run, including four free throws, to tie the game at 54 and under two minutes to play. The Mountaineers’ sole field goal in the final two minutes came with one second remaining.
“We just didn’t execute down the stretch once again,” Carey explained. “We turned it over down the stretch and fouled down at the other end and in a close game that is how you get beat. We have to just turn this around and get better. This is two games now that I felt we just threw away, but we have to quit doing that.”
WVU’s 27 fouls allowed Kansas 23 points from the line as the Jayhawks converted 23-of-34 attempts (67.6%). The Mountaineers earned 10-of-14 (71.4%) from the line. For the second consecutive game, WVU recorded more field goals than its opponent as the Mountaineers were 22-of-52 from the field (42.3%), while Kansas was 17-of-42 (40.5%).The Mountaineers recorded five 3-pointers, four from Palmer, while holding Kansas to only three from beyond the arc.
WVU was out-rebounded 34-31 and committed one more turnover than the Jayhawks, 22-21. Kansas outscored WVU in the paint 24-22 and its bench also recorded more production, outscoring WVU’s bench 15-4.
The Mountaineers were led in scoring by Palmer for the second straight game with 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Sophomore Averee Fields
led the Mountaineers on the boards with seven rebounds to go along with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 6-of-8 shooting from the free throw line. Christal Caldwell
added 11 points.
Goodrich led Kansas’ scoring efforts with 16 points, while Davis added 14 points. The Jayhawks’ rebounding was led by Monica Engelman and Chelsea Gardner with seven rebounds each.
The Mountaineers continue Big 12 Conference play as they will take on the Texas Longhorns at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at the WVU Coliseum.