WVU Women’s Hoops Throttled By Baylor

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    The West Virginia University basketball team suffered the loss on Monday evening, as the Mountaineers fell to Baylor, 64-39, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.

    After a three-game absence, redshirt junior guard Kysre Gondrezick returned to the court against the Lady Bears and led West Virginia in scoring, adding 13 points. Sophomore forward Kari Niblack paced WVU on the glass by hauling in six rebounds. Niblack also tallied three blocks in the defeat.

    “I thought we battled, especially (in the first half),” WVU coach Mike Carey We came out in the third quarter and didn’t battle, and we battled a little bit better in the fourth quarter.”

    A slow started awaited both teams in the opening minutes of the game, with both teams being held scoreless until Baylor hit a free throw at the 7:32 mark. West Virginia got on the board and took the lead two minutes later when redshirt senior guard Tynice Martin converted a jumper just outside the paint. Following a score by BU, Gondrezick scored in the paint to reclaim the advantage.

    The Lady Bears then sank a 3-pointer, but Gondrezick countered with another score to tie the game just before the first media timeout. Baylor closed out the quarter on a 5-0 run to take the lead heading to the second quarter.

    BU struck first in the second frame, but the Mountaineers cut the deficit to two points on a 3-pointer from Martin and a jumper from Niblack. Baylor responded with a pair of scores from Didi Richards, before Niblack sank another jumper and sophomore guard Madisen Smith hit a triple to keep the game within reach. Baylor sank its next three attempts to take an eight-point lead.

    West Virginia only mustered a pair of free throws from Gondrezick to close out the first half. The Lady Bears scored twice over the final two minutes of the second quarter, as the Mountaineers trailed by 10 at halftime.

    Baylor began the second half on a 13-0 run before West Virginia halted the Lady Bear offense with four points from freshman guard Kirsten Deans. The Mountaineers trailed by 21 at the third-quarter media timeout.

    Gondrezick hit a free throw after the break. Baylor then went on a 7-0 run until a technical foul was assessed on BU’s Queen Egbo at the 1:52 mark of the quarter. Martin converted both free throws to cut the deficit to 25. Smith scored with 43 seconds remaining in the frame, but the Mountaineers trailed by 26 heading to the fourth quarter.

    The Mountaineers began the final quarter with a score from Gondrezick. Coach Mike Carey was then called for a technical foul at the 8:21 mark, and Baylor would make one free throw. Gondrezick converted a 3-pointer, and Niblack scored twice down the stretch, but it wouldn’t be enough for West Virginia, as Baylor coasted to the finish line.

    West Virginia finished the game shooting 13-of-55 (23.6%) from the field and made three 3-pointers. The Mountaineers held the advantage in bench points (18-15) and turned the Lady Bears over 14 times.

    Baylor shot 24-of-53 (45.3%) from the field, including 5-of-11 (45.5%) from 3-point range. Te’a Cooper led Bu in scoring, with 17 points. Lauren Cox also finished in double-figure scoring, tallying 12 points.

    West Virginia next competes on Saturday, Feb. 29, as the Mountaineers travel to Ames, Iowa, for a rematch with Iowa State. Opening tip against the Cyclones is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.

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