Women’s Hoops Halts Slide With Texas Tech Win

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    The West Virginia University women’s basketball team tallied its 15th win of the season on Saturday evening, as the Mountaineers defeated Texas Tech, 67-60, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown.

    West Virginia’s scoring was led by redshirt senior guard Tynice Martin’s 20 points, as she was one of three Mountaineers to finish in double figures. Sophomore forward Kari Niblack led WVU on the glass and tallied her fourth double-double of the season (15 points, 12 rebounds).

    “I thought we played hard. I thought the ball movement was a lot better today than it has been,” WVU coach Mike Carey said. “I thought our defense, at times, was a lot better. Our foul shooting wasn’t better, but we didn’t settle for the three as much. We got to the foul line. This is the most that we’ve been to the foul line in a while. So, those are things we have to continue to do – continue to get to the foul line, get in the paint, outscore them in the paint, don’t settle for 3’s and defend them on the other end.”

    Martin put West Virginia out in front to start the game, but Texas Tech responded with a 3-pointer to take the lead. The Mountaineers reclaimed the lead a minute later on a fast-break score from sophomore guard Madisen Smith. Niblack scored in the paint to extend the lead and Martin tacked on two more points at the line to give WVU an 8-3 lead at the first media timeout.

    Texas Tech scored five unanswered point coming out of the timout, but Niblack snuffed out the TTU scoring run with a baseline jumper. Smith then sank a deep 3-pointer to give WVU a six-point lead. West Virginia then tacked on four more points at the line to extend its advantage to double digits. Texas Tech scored seven unanswered points to close out the frame to cut WVU’s lead to 18-15.

    TTU carried its scoring run into the second quarter, as the Lady Raiders scored the first seven points of the period. WVU called a timeout with 7:23 remaining in the half, trailing 22-18. Martin halted Tech’s scoring run at the 6:33 mark of the quarter with a jumper.

    Smith and freshman forward Esmery Martinez converted two scores in the paint to cut the deficit to two, before Niblack tacked on another score at the rum to tie the game with just under three minutes remaining in the half. Texas Tech added three more points to jump back in front, but West Virginia ended the half on a 7-0 run to lead, 33-29, at halftime.

    Martin and Niblack opened scoring for West Virginia by adding five points, but Texas Tech kept the game close with a trio of its own scores. Niblack then scored in the paint to keep WVU’s lead at three. TTU then use two free throws and a 3-pointer to retake the advantage at the third-quarter media timeout.

    Martinez tied the game for WVU coming out of the timeout. Following a score by TTU, senior guard Lucky Rudd and Martin hit back-to-back triples to take a four-point lead and force Texas Tech to call a timeout. Following the break, the Lady Raiders tied the game with a score in the paint and two free throws, but Rudd converted on a jumper from the wing to give West Virginia a two-point lead at the end of the third quarter.

    West Virginia began the quarter on a 4-0 run before Texas Tech converted two scores of its own to keep the game close. The Mountaineers then added three more buckets to take a six-point lead. The Lady Raiders attempted to counter WVU’s offense with jumper at the 2:35 mark, but it wouldn’t be enough, as West Virginia tacked on six free throws over the final minutes of the game to seal the victory.

    The Mountaineers shot 23-of-62 (37.1%) from the field, including 5-of-13 (38.5%) from behind the arc. WVU out-rebounded Texas Tech, 42-34, and held the advantage in second-chance points, 14-6.

    Texas Tech finished 23-of-68 (33.8%) from the field and were held to 7-of-29 (24.1%) from 3-point range. The Lady Raiders’ scoring effort was led by Andrayah Adams, who finished with 15 points.

    West Virginia next competes on Monday, Feb. 17, as the Mountaineers travel to Austin, Texas, to square off against the Texas Longhorns. West Virginia won the first meeting against UT this season, a 68-63 victory in Morgantown. Monday’s game will be broadcast on FS1, with Ron Thulin and Stacey Dales on the call. Opening tip is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET at the Erwin Center in Austin.

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