DALLAS, Texas – The No. 6-seeded West Virginia University women’s basketball team will face No. 3-seeded Oklahoma in the quarterfinal game of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at 9:30 p.m., ET on Saturday at the American Airlines Center.
The Mountaineers earned a bye in the tournament, finishing sixth in its inaugural Big 12 season with a 9-9 league record. WVU has earned a conference tournament bye seven times under coach Mike Carey.
Oklahoma is currently 21-9 overall and closed out the regular season with an 11-7 mark in league play. The Sooners have won three of their last five games, defeating Texas Tech 77-73 in their last outing.
Oklahoma has three players averaging scoring numbers in double figures for the season and five players are averaging double-digits in Big 12 play. The Sooners are led by All-Big 12 First Team member Aaryn Ellenberg with 19.0 points per game and 19.7 points per league outing, the third-highest scoring average of all Big 12 players.
Ellenberg is currently ranked in the top-10 national statistics for her 3-point shooting, as she shoots 42.8 percent (98-229) from the field, collecting 3.3 treys per game. Ellenberg leads the league with 3.0 threes per conference game and helps the Sooners to a league-leading 3-point field goal percentage in Big 12 play (.372).
Nicole Griffin averages 11.8 points per game, while Morgan Hook rounds out the top three scorers with 11.1 points. In conference only games, All-Big 12 Second Team member Joanna McFarland and Sharane Campbell are the Sooners’ third- and fourth-leading scorers with 11.4 and 11.1 points per league game, respectively. McFarland is the Sooners’ leading rebounder with 9.9 boards per game and she leads the Big 12 Conference with 11.1 rebounds per league outing.
McFarland also holds OU’s highest field goal percentage in league play as she shoots 51.1 percent (71-39). Griffin isn’t far behind McFarland from the field as she shoots 47.3 percent (80-169) in all league games. Hook dishes out the fourth-most assists in league play, averaging 6.1 assists per game with 110 total in Big 12 games and 158 for the season. Hook is also the team’s leading free-throw shooter, converting 47-of-53 attempts for a percentage of 88.7, the second-highest in the Big 12 this season.
Ellenberg and McFarland have also seen success at the free throw line, shooting 82.3 percent (51-62) and 79.6 percent (43-54) in league play, respectively. With 36 blocked shots in league play and 47 overall, Griffin averages 2.0 blocks per league game, the fifth-highest average in the conference.
As a team, OU holds the second-highest scoring average in the Big 12 with 71.3 points per game, while WVU is 13-3 when holding opponents to less than 60 points in a game.
WVU leads 2-1 in the all-time series with Oklahoma. In the last outing, WVU defeated Oklahoma 82-63 at the WVU Coliseum. In the first matchup this season, OU defeated WVU 71-68 in the final minutes at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. The Mountaineers held a nine-point lead in the game, but OU came back to get the win.
All-Big 12 First Team member Christal Caldwell
continues to lead the Mountaineers in scoring with 12.9 points per game, having led the Mountaineers in the point column in 12 different games. Senior Ayana Dunning
, who was named to the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Team, holds the second-highest scoring average of 10.2 points per game and is the leading rebounder with 6.1 boards per game. Freshman guard Bria Holmes
, who was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team, is the leading scorer off the bench with 6.0 points per game.
Saturday’s game will air live nationally on FOX Sports Net. Fox College Sports Central will air the game live at 9:30 p.m., while ROOT Sports Pittsburgh and Sportsouth will each air the game as a join in progress starting at 10 p.m.