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No. 13 Mountaineers Knock Off No. 12 Cowgirls


By Katie Kane for WVUsports.com
February 19, 2014 10:14 PM
Sophomore guard Bria Holmes had a game-leading 20 points, including four threes.
Dale Sparks/All-Pro Photography photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  – The No. 13 West Virginia women’s basketball team recorded its largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent, defeating No. 12 Oklahoma State, 77-45, Wednesday at the WVU Coliseum.
 
The previous largest margin of victory over a ranked opponent was a 56-35 win over No. 18 Pitt on Feb. 13, 2008 in the Coliseum. WVU is now 4-1 against opponents ranked in the top 25 this season.
 
“Needless to say it was a big win for us. I thought our girls were so focused and came out and played extremely well,” coach Mike Carey said. “We made shots early, we defended early, we rebounded early and we executed early, and were able to get the lead.”
 
The Mountaineers (23-3, 12-2) opened the game on a 14-0 run and held the Cowgirls (20-5, 9-5) to only one 3-pointer, shooting a mere 5.6 percent for the game. OSU was held scoreless for the first 4:45 of each half, and without a field goal for 11:23 of the closing half.
 
“I could sense they were fired up,” Carey explained. “I was fired up before the game. I probably gave one of my best speeches. If you want respect, you have to go out and earn respect, and I thought tonight we went out and did that. Give them credit—they just weren’t hitting. We were up the lanes, and we were making it tough on them.”
 
WVU shot 50 percent (11-22) in the closing half, while limiting OSU to only 19.4 percent (6-31) from the field. The Mountaineers closed the game shooting 48 percent (24-50) from the field, and 38.9 percent (7-18) from 3-point range. OSU shot 25.8 percent (16-62) from the field. Nine of the Cowgirls’ 22 points in the second half came from the free throw line, for a game total of 12-of-18 from the charity stripe. WVU made 22-of-34 free throw attempts (64.7%).
 
Oklahoma State turned the ball over 17 times, allowing WVU 15 points off turnovers, while the Mountaineers limited their own giveaways to 12. OSU edged out WVU on the boards, 42-41.
 
Four Mountaineers recorded scoring numbers in double figures, led by sophomore guard Bria Holmes’ 20 points, 17 of which came in the first half. Holmes had four threes, helping her to the fourth 20-point outing of her career. Senior guard Christal Caldwell added 15 points, including a pair of threes, and five rebounds, while senior center Asya Bussie recorded her seventh double-double this season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Taylor Palmer rounded out the top four scorers, adding 10 points, five rebounds and four assists off the bench.
 
Oklahoma State was led in scoring by Tiffany Bias with 10 points, two assists and a pair of steals. Kendra Suttles added eight points and Brittany Atkins chipped in five points. Brittney Martin led OSU in rebounding with five boards.
 
West Virginia players wore violet shooting shirts and violet socks for Wednesday’s game, to show support of senior student manager SeLarra Armstrong. Armstrong is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
 
“It made me feel so special. It was a shocker,” Armstrong said. “It was relief off my shoulders that they were able to win that big.”
 
The Mountaineers take to the road as they take on Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. ET.



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