MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University women’s basketball team will take on Kansas State at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.
The Mountaineers (9-5, 1-2 Big 12) are coming off a 53-49 win over Texas on Wednesday night, while the Wildcats (10-5, 1-2 Big 12) enter Saturday’s game off a 59-50 midweek road loss at Texas Tech.
The Wildcats returned only two starters, in seniors Brittany Chambers and Mariah White, and seven overall letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 20-14 and 9-9 in the Big 12. Kansas State made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament last season, getting knocked out by top-seeded Connecticut 72-26 in Bridgeport, Conn.
Kansas State is 10-5 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12 Conference with its only other loss to Kansas (72-63) and its only conference win, a 59-58 buzzer beater over TCU on Jan. 5. Guard Chambers is coming off a 15-point, nine-rebound outing against Texas Tech and leads the team for the season with 18.4 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. Chambers has recorded the most field goals (103-227), shooting 45.4 percent and has also sunk the most 3-point shots (38-106), shooting 35.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Sophomore guard Haley Texada, with seven starts in 14 games played, is the second-leading scorer with 12.1 points per game on 43 percent (61-142) shooting. Freshman guard Brianna Craig recorded a career-best 18 points in the last outing and rounds out the top three scorers for Kansas State with 9.6 points per game. Texada and Craig also help with the 3-point shooting with 21 and 26 3-point field goals made, respectively.
Sophomore guard Ashia Woods helps Kansas State to 11.3 steals per game, the third-highest average in the league, as she has recorded 33 steals this season. Woods’ 2.2 steals per game ranks as the fifth-highest average in the Big 12. White is the second-leading rebounder with 5.3 boards per game and has also grabbed 26 steals this season.
Junior guard Taylor Palmer
averages 20.3 points per game in Big 12 outings, which ties Brittney Griner from Baylor for the second-highest scoring average in league play. In all games this season, Palmer leads the Mountaineers with 12.1 points per game, including 32 threes.
As a team, the Mountaineers have held league opponents to only 26.7 percent from 3-point range, the second-lowest percentage in the league, however, averaging 5.7 threes a game, WVU holds the sixth-highest 3-point field goal average per game.
Senior Ayana Dunning
and junior Christal Caldwell
combined for 35 points in WVU’s last outing. Caldwell and Dunning round out the top three scorers for the Mountaineers with 11.7 and 10.7 points, respectively. Dunning also leads WVU in rebounding with 6.9 boards per game.
Saturday’s game is the first meeting between the teams in the all-time series. The game will be broadcast live on national television by Fox Sports Net, which will air on Root Sports Pittsburgh in West Virginia. Fans can listen to the game live on WAJR. Live stats and a recap of the game can be found at WVUsports.com.