WVU Women Upset #18 Iowa State

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    The West Virginia University women’s basketball team finished with three players in double figures to earn a 73-64 upset victory over No. 18/19 Iowa State on Wednesday night at the WVU Coliseum.

    Junior guard Lucky Rudd led the way with a career-high 22 points, while redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin added 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists for her fourth career double-double. Senior guard/forward Naomi Davenport chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds.

    The Mountaineers (12-4, 3-2) got off to a fast start and were able to fend off the Cyclones (13-4, 3-2) late in the team’s first victory over a top-25 opponent this season.

    “This was a big win for us,” head coach Mike Carey said. “I thought in the fourth quarter we played extremely well. We got in foul trouble in the second quarter, we had to go to the bench a lot, and that was when they came back and took the lead. I thought in the third quarter, we played a little bit better, but again, we had a couple girls in foul trouble. In the fourth quarter, I thought (junior guard) Tynice (Martin) stepped up, (senior guard/forward) Naomi (Davenport) stepped up, and I thought (freshman forward) Kari (Niblack) hit a couple big shots from the paint. We really needed those.”

    After freshman guard Madisen Smith swished a 3-pointer to open the game, Davenport and senior center Theresa Ekhelar made a pair of buckets to give WVU an early 7-2 lead. Then, Rudd drained two shots from downtown to bump the Mountaineer lead to 13-5.

    Rudd made another triple with 54 seconds to play in the opening frame, giving West Virginia a 10-point advantage at 20-10.

    West Virginia led 20-13 after 10 minutes.

    However, the second period belonged to the Cyclones. After Martin’s basket gave WVU a 25-13 lead with 8:51 to play in the half, Iowa State executed a 17-2 run that took up nearly eight minutes. The visitor’s first lead came with 1:33 to play before halftime, before Rudd halted the run a minute later with a three-point play.

    The Kernersville, North Carolina, native made a free throw with six seconds to play in the half, allowing the Mountaineers to take a 31-30 lead into the locker room. Rudd tallied 13 points in the first half to lead the team.

    WVU, which survived 13 first-half turnovers, was outscored, 17-11, in the second frame.

    The Cyclones were able to build a lead in the early portion of the second half before Davenport drained a 3 from the top of the key. That made it 43-36 Iowa State with 5:10 to play in the period.

    On the next trip down, Davenport scored again on a layup, thanks to a long feed from Smith, to cut the Mountaineer deficit to just two. West Virginia also scored five of the final seven points of the third quarter.

    Still, ISU led, 48-46, heading to the fourth.

    With the game tied at 50, freshman forward Kari Niblack cashed in on a three-point play to give the Mountaineers a 53-50 advantage with 7:22 to go in the game. It was a lead West Virginia wouldn’t surrender.

    Later, Davenport’s tough layup made it a 59-54 game with 4:50 to play. The Cyclones were able to cut it to one with 3:31 to go, but a pair of field goals by Martin, the Big 12 Co-Player of the Week, allowed the Mountaineers to regain control.

    From there, WVU got the job done at the line, shooting 15-of-17 from the charity stripe in the fourth period.

    WVU finished 22-of-50 (44%) from the field in the upset win, and it held a 43-32 edge in rebounding. The Mountaineers shot 24-of-29 (82.8%) from the line.

    Iowa State, which was led by Bridget Carleton’s game-high 26 points, shot 21-of-63 (33.3%) from the field. The Cyclones made just five of their final 21 field-goal attempts down the stretch.

    Up next, West Virginia travels to No. 2/3 Baylor on Sunday, Jan. 20. Tipoff at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, is set for 5 p.m. The contest will be televised on FS1.

    Notes: WVU improved to 10-4 all-time against Iowa State, including 5-2 in Morgantown … the Mountaineers improved to 25-57 against top-25 opponents at the WVU Coliseum and 9-14 against ranked Big 12 foes in Morgantown … junior guard Lucky Rudd scored a career-high 22 points in the win; Rudd needed just 20 minutes to secure a new career best (13 first-half points) … redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin added 20 points, her 21st game of 20 or more points … Martin also secured her third double-double of the season and fourth of her career … WVU improved to 11-2 when leading at the half.

    #80338

    I have able able to see the women from the end line this season and last year and am impressed by their tenacity and ability to weather through adversity.

    They have lost one starter to personal issues and now one to a high ankle sprain, and are now down to 8 players on the bench due to injuries to a couple of younger players.

    Lucky Rudd had 22 last night, Tynice had 20, and Naomi came back from a kick in the head on Sunday to score 15. The freshman Kari Niblack contributed 9 points around her 4 fouls.  This is being  done with Katrina on crutches for at least 4 weeks. Mike is getting great effort out of the ladies.  If you are in Morgantown when they play you are missing a gutsy and inspirational performance out of a team by not going to the game.

    The men could learn a thing or two about playing with heart and giving all their effort if they would just watch the ladies.

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