MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University women’s basketball team staved off a Kansas State fourth quarter rally to knock off the 24th-ranked Wildcats, 66-59, on Wednesday evening at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (18-8, 6-8) had built up a 19-point lead in the first half, but K-State (18-8, 8-6) slowly chipped away in the second half. The Wildcats trimmed the game to two points on two occasions in the fourth quarter, which included a Kaylee Page triple at the 4:34 mark to make it a 52-50 contest. Teana Muldrow
’s layup followed by a bucket from Kristina King
sparked a nine-point Mountaineer run over the next two minutes to push the West Virginia lead back to 11.
KSU could only trim the game to seven in the final 2:22, giving West Virginia its second top 25 win of the season. Earlier on Jan. 8, WVU picked up an 83-73 victory over No. 20/24 Oklahoma. The Mountaineers have won at least two games over ranked opponents in the last eight years and in 11 of the last 12 seasons.
Junior guard Chania Ray
registered her first career double-double with 14 points and dishing out a game-high 10 assists. Katrina Pardee
again had a strong performance from the perimeter, banking four three-pointers and finishing with 14 points. Despite being limited due to foul trouble, Lanay Montgomery
etched her ninth double-double of the season and 18th of her career with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Pittsburgh native made 6-of-8 from the field for a 75 shooting percentage.
Muldrow also eclipsed double-figures with 10 points, while grabbing six rebounds. The junior is just 16 points away from becoming the 33rd Mountaineer to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
“That was a good win for us. They have a great RPI and we needed that win,” said coach Mike Carey. “In the third quarter, we stood around defensively and offensively turned it over. I thought in the fourth quarter when they cut it to three, Teana (Muldrow) started making some plays. I thought Kristina King
came in and made some plays and got the lead back up for us. I think Alexis Brewer
’s three from the corner right there really put us up. We had a lot of unforced turnovers, too many turnovers, but we needed that game bad and we got it, so I’m proud of the players.”
Offensively, West Virginia shot 45.5 percent (25-of-55) from the field and made 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from behind the arc. Kansas State was limited to 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the field, but shot 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from three-point range. WVU won the rebound battle, 38-29, and outscored the Wildcats, 28-22, in the paint. The Mountaineers dished out 20 assists, collected 10 steals and blocked three shots.
It remained a near-even game in the first five minutes of Wednesday’s contest. A Breanna Lewis layup, along with the and-one, put the Wildcats up 10-8 with 5:31 remaining. The Mountaineers fought back with a 15-2 run which started with a Muldrow layup, a Ray three-pointer and a Montgomery bucket to give WVU a 15-10 edge. The Mountaineers led 23-12 at the end on of the opening period.
The Mountaineers added seven more points for a 22-2 run and pushed their lead to 19 after Pardee made a layup at the 5:20 mark. KSU used a 9-3 spurt of its own to close the half and trim West Virginia’s advantage to 39-25. Pardee led all scorers with 14 points, while Montgomery had 10 rebounds in the first half.
To open the second half, K-State used an 8-4 run that included a Kindred Wesemann layup along with the and-one to push cut the contest to 10, 43-33, with 6:28 left. The Mountaineers added four more points in a low-scoring period to maintain a 47-36 lead at the end of three quarters.
A Wesemann three-pointer and a Kayla Goth steal and score cut the Wildcat deficit to 47-41 with 9:18 remaining in the final quarter. Just another possession later, Wesemann connected on another triple to make it a 47-44 game. Another steal and score from Goth trimmed the game to 49-47 with six minutes remaining. WVU stretched the lead back to five with three Muldrow free throws, but K-State roared back with a Page three-pointer at the 4:34 mark.
Muldrow made a layup to extend the lead back to four and grabbed a rebound to setup a King layup at 3:48. Alexis Brewer
hit a crucial three-pointer on the next offensive possession and King once again connected on a layup to push the WVU lead back to 11. King finished 3-of-3 from the field in the fourth quarter, tallying six points. Wesemann led K-State with 14 points and four assists in the loss.
WVU carries its two-game win streak on the road with a visit to Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 18. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET/noon CT at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.
NOTES: West Virginia recorded its second top 25 win of the season with a win over No. 24 K-State … the Mountaineers have knocked off at least two ranked opponents in the last eight seasons and in 11 of the last 12 years … WVU has won 44 games over AP ranked opponents since 1983 and 34 under coach Mike Carey … tonight’s victory marks the fourth consecutive year WVU has won 13 or more games at home … WVU now leads the series against K-State, 9-2 … With 12 rebounds tonight, Lanay Montgomery
’s 870 career rebounds are now the fifth all-time at WVU, surpassing Chakia Cole (865) … Montgomery corralled six offensive rebounds and has 303 in her career, which is fourth all-time … this is Montgomery’s 100th consecutive game with a rebound, dating back to March 23, 2014 … Alexis Brewer
set a career-high with five assists … Katrina Pardee
tied a season high with four three pointers and has hit four triples in three of the last four games …. Chania Ray
recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 assists … Tynice Martin
(457) is 15 points away from passing Maria Tchobanova (471) for seventh on the WVU sophomore points list.