MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s basketball team will travel to Ames, Iowa, for a 1:30 p.m. tipoff with No. 24/23 Iowa State on Sunday.
The game, which will air live on Root Sports Pittsburgh, is the Mountaineers’ third Play 4 Kay Pink game of the season, helping with breast cancer awareness. Iowa State averages 10,393 fans per league game at the Hilton Coliseum.
Iowa State currently sits in second place in the league standings with an 18-5 overall record and 9-4 mark in the Big 12 Conference. The Cyclones enter Sunday’s game on a four-game win streak with wins over Texas Tech, Texas, Kansas State and Oklahoma.
Hallie Christofferson leads the Cyclones in scoring with 15.4 points per game and 15.1 points per league game. Chelsea Poppens and Anna Prins round out the top three scorers with 12.8 and 10.7 points per league game, respectively.
Poppens is also ISU’s rebounding leader with 9.3 boards per game and 9.2 rebounds in league games, the fourth-highest rebounding average in the Big 12. Christofferson helps in rebounding with 6.8 per game, while Prins pulls down 5.3 rebounds per league outing.
As the scoring leader, Christofferson also holds ISU’s highest field goal percentage (55.6%) in Big 12 play, the third-highest percentage of all league players and the 15th-highest average nationally. Nikki Moody leads the league in assists with 7.2 per league game and 163 total for the season, ranking No. 3 nationally for assists per game.
As a team, Iowa State makes 78.6 percent of its free throw shots, the fourth-highest average in the nation. The Cyclones match WVU in the Big 12 statistics for their defensive field goal percentage, limiting opponents to only 39.3 percent shooting in league play.
In the last outing at Oklahoma, Iowa State defeated the Sooners 72-68 with three players in double figures led by Christofferson with 27 points, including 11-of-14 from the free throw line, and 10 rebounds. Poppens added 19 points, while Nicole Blaskowsky chipped in 15 points off the bench.
The Mountaineers are currently 14-10 overall and 6-7 in the Big 12 Conference and look to avenge their loss to the Cyclones earlier this season. The last time the teams met, WVU held a 34-25 halftime lead, but Iowa State out-scored WVU 28-15 in the closing half, handing the Mountaineers a 53-49 loss on its home court. The Cyclones capitalized from the free throw line, converting 12-of-15 attempts, while WVU missed some valuable attempts, going 5-for-10 from the line.
Junior guard Christal Caldwell
has given WVU the most consistent play as she has had 18 double-figure scoring games and led the Mountaineers in scoring 10 times this season. Caldwell averages 13.8 points per game and 15.5 points per Big 12 game this season. In Big 12 play, Taylor Palmer
remains the second-leading scorer with 10.2 points per game, however has been limited in three of the last four games.
In league games, sophomore Averee Fields
has worked her way into the top three scorers for the Mountaineers with 9.7 points per game. Fields is also the leading rebounder in all Big 12 games for WVU as she pulls down 5.6 rebounds per game. Senior Ayana Dunning
is just behind Fields with 8.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Junior Jess Harlee
averages 5.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as the leading scorer and rebounder off the bench. Harlee has also recorded 26 steals in league play, the second-highest steals total behind Caldwell’s 28.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast live on WAJR with Travis Jones on the call. The game will also air live on Root Sports Pittsburgh by Fox Sports Net.