MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Four Mountaineers reached double-figure scoring, as the West Virginia University women’s basketball team closed out the regular season with a 73-54 win over Kansas on Senior Night at the WVU Coliseum.
A free throw early in the first quarter gave Kansas (8-21, 2-16) a lead for 12 seconds, but the Mountaineers would use a 15-3 run from there to take a double-figure lead for the remainder of the contest. WVU extended its lead to 29 in the third quarter, but KU outscored the Mountaineers, 16-11, in the final period.
West Virginia (20-10, 8-10) registered its 11th 20-win season under 16th-year head coach Mike Carey and a school-record four consecutive seasons of 20 or more victories. The Mountaineers finish sixth in the Big 12 Conference regular season and will be the No. 6 seed in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The four-day tournament begins on Friday, March 3, and lasts through Monday, March 6, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. West Virginia will face No. 3-seed Oklahoma on Saturday, March 4, in a 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT matchup. The game will be televised on the FOX Sports Networks.
finished with a team-high 17 points, while grabbing six rebounds. Teana Muldrow
became the first Mountaineer since Korinne Campbell in 2010 to record a double-double in three consecutive games after scoring 15 points and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. Junior Kristina King
knocked down 6-of-7 from the field and finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Chania Ray
eclipsed double-figures with 11 points, while grabbing five boards and distributing a game-best five assists.
Prior to Monday evening’s game, the Mountaineers honored seniors Lanay Montgomery
and Desiree Rhodes
. Montgomery, a Pittsburgh native, finished with nine rebounds and seven points. Her nine rebounds moved her fourth all-time with 898 career rebounds. Rhodes, a native of Aurora, Illinois, made her first career start at WVU and completed the night with two rebounds and an assist.
“Good to get a win for the seniors’ in the last game,” Carey said. “I thought we played a lot better in the first half than we did in the second half, but that’s the story of our season. Sloppy with the basketball, gave up second chance points. When we go to tournament time, if we have that many turnovers and give up that many second chance points, we won’t win a game. Looks like right now we’re going to play Oklahoma, so it’s not going to be an easy game.”
Offensively, West Virginia shot 48.3 percent from the field (28-of-58) and made 70.0 percent (14-of-20) from the free throw line. WVU won the rebound battle, 44-33, and dished out 11 assists and blocked six shots. KU was limited to 29.5 percent (18-of-61) from the field and 18.8 percent (3-of-16) from three-point range.
The Mountaineers opened up the contest with a 15-4 lead, which included an 11-point run over a stretch of three minutes. King added five consecutive points in a minute to push the West Virginia edge to 20-6 at the 1:37 mark. Muldrow’s two layups to end the quarter gave WVU a 24-10 lead.
King added two more buckets to open the second quarter and West Virginia used an 11-2 run to take a 26 point lead. The Mountaineers held a 41-18 lead at the half, their largest in Big 12 play this season. Muldrow paced the team with 17 points and seven rebounds.
After remaining scoreless in the first half due to foul trouble, Montgomery responded with five of WVU’s first 12 points. A six-point run stretched the Mountaineer lead to 27 after a three-pointer from Martin at the 5:55 mark. Kansas closed the half with 12 points in the final four minutes of the third quarter to trim the deficit to 24.
In the fourth quarter, six points from KU’s Jayde Christopher and Chayla Cheadle trimmed the Mountaineer lead to 22. KU would outscored WVU by five in the stanza. The Jayhawks’ Jessica Washington led all scorers with 18 points.
West Virginia opens action at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Saturday, March 4, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Mountaineers are the No. 6-seed and will take on No. 3-seed Oklahoma in the 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT game.
NOTES: With the 73-54 victory over Kansas, WVU now moves to 8-4 all-time against the Jayhawks … the win marks the 15th victory inside the WVU Coliseum - the third most in program history … the Mountaineers led the Jayhawks by 23 at halftime, the largest advantage WVU has had at the half in conference play this season … for the fourth year in a row, WVU has won on senior night … with a 15 point, 11 rebound performance, Teana Muldrow
is the first player to record a double-double in three consecutive games since Korinne Campbell in 2010 … it marked the ninth time that Muldrow has recorded a double-double this season and the 10th time in her career … Muldrow has now scored in double-digits in seven straight games … Lanay Montgomery
brought down nine rebounds against the Jayhawks, moving her to fourth on WVU’s all-time rebounds chart with 898 boards … she has now had at least one rebound in 103 straight games … after dishing out a game-high five assists, Chania Ray
has moved into fourth place in season assists by a junior with 178 … she needs three more assists to move into third … Ray extended her streak of multiple assists in a game to 32 … she also recorded 11 points and grabbed five rebounds, marking the 7th time this season that she has had at least five points, assists and rebounds in the same game … Tynice Martin
scored a team-high 17 points, moving her into fourth on the WVU sophomore scoring leaders chart … Monday’s contest marked the 40th consecutive game that she has made a field goal.