MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The No. 16/17-ranked West Virginia University women’s basketball team used a season-high 34 points from its bench to knock off Ole Miss, 66-61, in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Sunday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
An 8-2 run to start the third quarter gave Ole Miss (6-2) a lead for a minute and 21 seconds. However, West Virginia used two free throws from Alexis Brewer
and layups from Tynice Martin
and Kristina King
to regain the lead, 34-30, with three minutes remaining.
With 4:20 remaining in the game, the Rebels trimmed the contest to 54-52 after Erika Sisk made a layup and converted the and-one. However, WVU’s Brewer and Lanay Montgomery
quickly responded with back-to-back buckets to extend the lead back to four.
West Virginia (9-0) utilized a King layup and nine free throws in the final 1:13 to secure its 30th consecutive win over a nonconference opponent and 11th straight victory at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers are off to their best start since opening the year 16-0 in the 2010-11 season.
King narrowly missed a double-double with a game-high 16 points, season-high nine rebounds and season-best four blocks in 28 minutes. Brewer finished with 12 points, seven of which came from the charity stripe.
Martin reached double-figure scoring for an 11th consecutive game with 10 points. Montgomery and Teana Muldrow
contributed with eight points and five rebounds each in limited minutes. Desiree Rhodes
filled in the post with six points and five rebounds. Chania Ray
led the team with four of West Virginia’s 12 assists on the day.
“Let me just start out by saying, I'd rather win ugly than lose pretty. So you know that was an ugly game with all of the turnovers and missed foul shots,” said coach Mike Carey. “But, I give credit to the bench. Kristina King
came in and did some good things. I thought Desiree Rhodes
came in and gave us some quality minutes, so give credit to especially those two. Also, I thought Alexis Brewer
came in and did some good things. It was good to see the bench contribute.”
The Mountaineers shot 53.5 percent (23-of-43) from the field in just 43 field goal attempts, the lowest since shooting 43 at Georgetown on Jan. 25, 2011. Ole Miss was limited to 32.2 percent (19-of-59) shooting from the field, marking the 10th consecutive game that West Virginia has held its opponents to shooting less than 40 percent. West Virginia made 18-of-32 field free throws for 56.3 percent. WVU outrebounded Ole Miss, 40-30, and outscored the Rebels, 30-26, in the paint.
Montgomery scored the Mountaineers’ first four points and Martin hit a three-pointer to give the Mountaineers an early lead in the opening quarter. West Virginia limited Ole Miss to 2-of-13 from the field for 15.4 percent shooting in the opening quarter and led 14-8 in a defensive battle.
West Virginia shot well in the second quarter, but committed nine more turnovers for a total of 18 at the half. WVU converted on 6-of-13 attempts in the second quarter. Rhodes’ layup in the final seconds stretched the Mountaineer advantage to 26-20. Muldrow led WVU with eight points, while Ole Miss’ Torri Lewis had eight. The Rebels only made one two-point basket in the first half, which came with 1:38 remaining in the second stanza.
Ole Miss opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run to tie the game with a Taylor Manuel layup at the 6:31 mark. Shandricka Sessom’s bucket with 5:26 left in the third quarter gave the Rebels their first lead of the game at 30-28. However, West Virginia responded with a 6-0 run including layups from King and Martin. After starting the game 2-of-10 from the charity stripe, WVU concluded the quarter with four consecutive free throw makes. Manuel would finish with a team-high 13 points for Mississippi.
Despite Ole Miss’ Sisk scoring the layup and converting the and-one, WVU outscored Ole Miss 13-to-10 down the final stretch to secure the Big 12 Conference’s fourth victory in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
No. 16/17 WVU takes a six-day breather before returning to action on Saturday, Dec. 10, in a 6:30 p.m. tilt with USC Upstate at the WVU Coliseum.
NOTES: WVU (9-0) has now won 30 straight games against nonconference opponents in the WVU Coliseum … the win against Ole Miss also marks the 11th straight game the Mountaineers have won at home … the Mountaineers are now 9-0, the best start since the 2010-11 season … with a 10 point performance against Ole Miss, Tynice Martin
has scored in double-figures in every game of 2016 and in 17 of the last 19 games … three Mountaineers scored more than ten points marking the sixth time this season that three or more players have scored in double-figures in the same game… Kristina King
scored a game-high 16 points, tying a season-high … King also pulled in a season-high nine rebounds and blocking a season-high four shots … the Mountaineers have out-rebounded all of their opponents this season … after holding the Rebels to a 32.2 field goal percentage, WVU has held all of its opponents this season to shoot less than 40 percent from the field and 10 straight since holding Ohio State to less than 40 percent last season … WVU’s 43 field goal attempts were the lowest since shooting 43 at Georgetown on Jan. 25, 2011.