Mountaineers to Face Sooners Thursday

  • By Katie Kane
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  • February 12, 2014 10:44 AM
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Senior guard Christal Caldwell's 23 points led WVU's scoring in the Mountaineers' win over the Sooners earlier this season.
Dale Sparks/All-Pro Photography photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 13/16 West Virginia women’s basketball team travels to Norman, Okla., for a 7 p.m. ET, tip with the Oklahoma Sooners on Thursday, at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Thursday’s game is the second of the home-and-home series this season, with WVU taking a 77-63 win from the Sooners on Jan. 18 at the WVU Coliseum. In that game, the Mountaineers were led in scoring by senior guard Christal Caldwell’s 23 points, including five 3-pointers, while sophomore guard Bria Holmes added 21 points, including four threes. Junior guard Linda Stepney added a career-best 17 points with 10 points from the free throw line.
The Mountaineers are currently 20-3 and 9-2 in Big 12 play, sitting in second place in the Big 12 standings. WVU enters Thursday’s game off an 84-44 win over Kansas State on Saturday. Sophomore guard Bria Holmes led all players with a career-high 31 points.
Oklahoma, who is receiving votes in both major polls, is currently 15-9 overall and 6-5 in Big 12 play. The Sooners have four players averaging scoring numbers in double figures, led by senior guard Aaryn Ellenberg with 18.4 points per game. Ellenberg is OU’s 3-point leader, shooting 35.9 percent (65-181), leads the Sooners in steals with 40 and holds the third-most assists (45).
Junior guard Sharane Campbell averages 12.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while grabbing 31 steals and dishing out 36 assists. Senior guard Morgan Hook averages 11.3 points per game and is OU’s assist leader with 124. Hook has also recorded the second-most threes (33) for the Sooners. Senior center Nicole Griffin rounds out the top-four scorers with 11.2 points per game, and leads the Sooners in rebounding with 5.7 boards per game.
As a team, the Sooners are shooting 74.3 percent from the free throw line, with three players shooting above that average in Campbell (87.5%), Hook (82.7%) and Ellenberg (80.6%). OU averages 18.5 points per game from the charity stripe.
OU defeated Kansas 81-71 in its last outing in Lawrence, Kan. on Feb. 9. Four Sooners scored in double figures with Griffin recording a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. Ellenberg had a team-leading 19 points, while Hook chipped in 15 points and Nicole Kornet provided 11 points off the bench.
The Sooners currently stand in fifth place in the Big 12 standings, having defeated Texas Tech, Kansas State, Iowa State, TCU, Oklahoma State and Kansas. OU dropped games to both Iowa State and Texas in overtime. In addition, OU fell to West Virginia, at Kansas State and Baylor.
WVU leads the series 3-2, dating back to Nov. 26, 1988. Last season, WVU and OU split the series at 1-1, each taking a win on their respective home courts in the regular season, however, OU handed WVU an early exit in the Big 12 tournament with a one-point defeat, 65-64.
Thursday’s game will be broadcast live nationally on Fox Sports 1 with Ron Thulin and Brenda VanLengen. The game will also air live on the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG online and on WRLF-FM 94.3 and WMMN-AM 920 with Jeff Culhane and Meg Bulger.