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January 18, 2018 at 6:46 am #47052
The No. 17/16 West Virginia women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a season-high 24 turnovers against No. 24 Oklahoma State on Wednesday dropped a 79-73 Big 12 contest at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Junior guard Naomi Davenport had a 25-point effort in the loss, including a career-high five 3-pointers, as the Mountaineers moved to 15-4 on the season and 3-4 in Big 12 play. Senior forward Teana Muldrow collected her league-leading tenth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior forward Kristina King just missed her second consecutive double-double, tallying 12 points and nine rebounds in addition to four blocks. Senior guard Chania Ray and junior guard Katrina Pardee each made a pair of treys to finish with six points on the night.
The Mountaineers out-rebounded the Cowgirls, 40-34, and shot 44.6 percent from the field. They made a season-high 10 3-pointers but also had a season-high 23 fouls.
Oklahoma State (13-4, 4-2) scored 30 points off WVU’s 24 turnovers.
“Twenty-four turnovers. Against a zone,” coach Mike Carey said. “Are you kidding me? That’s amazing. I don’t have answers. If you can’t attack somebody, draw them and pass the ball without turning it over against a zone … most of our turnovers were against a two-three zone. I don’t have answers for that.”
Despite shooting just under 43 percent, the Mountaineers struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first. A layup by Muldrow cut the deficit to two at 8-6 with just under seven to play. However, a 6-0 run by the Cowgirls stretched their lead to 14-6 midway through the quarter. Ashley Jones and Ray each sunk a 3-point shot before Davenport capped the stanza with a jumper as the Mountaineers trailed 20-14.
After remaining scoreless for nearly three minutes in the second, Muldrow broke the drought with a layup to cut OSU’s lead to seven at 23-16. Pardee nailed a triple before Destiny Harden hit the free-throw line for a pair, making it a four-point game midway through the quarter with WVU down 27-23. Davenport added a pair of treys and a late jumper from King made it a one-possession game at the half with the Mountaineers trailing 33-31.
A jumper and a trey by Davenport brought the Mountaineers within one in the third quarter, though a 6-0 OSU run ensued to push the Cowgirls in front, 45-38, with 3:15 to play. Pardee added a 3-pointer before King scored a layup off a dish by Jones in the final minute of the period to cut the OSU lead to two at 48-46. However, the Cowgirls picked up a pair at the free-throw line for a 50-46 advantage heading into the fourth.
Muldrow nailed an early triple to keep the Mountaineers close, but Oklahoma State countered with a 13-0 run that saw the Cowgirls go up by 13 points as 64-51 with 6:37 to play. Muldrow and King scored in the paint, and Ray added a shot from the perimeter before Davenport added another trey to bring the deficit back to single digits with the Mountaineers trailing 74-66.
It was Muldrow again, with a jumper and a layup to bring WVU within six with 40 seconds remaining. The Cowgirls added to the lead at the charity stripe before Davenport added another late trey. However, it was too little, too late as the Mountaineers suffered the 79-73 setback.
Next up, West Virginia heads to Iowa for a Saturday tilt with Iowa State in Ames. The Mountaineers and the Cyclones will meet at 7:30 p.m. EST in Hilton Coliseum.
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