Pardee Hits Six Triples As WVU Topples Texas Tech
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When Katrina Pardee was a child growing up in Cedar Park, Texas, about 25 miles north of Austin, she fell in love with the game of basketball.
Her father became her coach and they would spend a lot of time out in the driveway as he taught her how to shoot.
He’s certainly proved himself as a coach because she became a dead-eye shooter, especially from 3-point range, which was enough to earn her a scholarship to play at West Virginia, where she became the team’s biggest outside threat.
But going into Wednesday night’s meeting with Texas Tech, a game the Mountaineers would win easily, 82-52, she’d been in a shooting slump.
Entering that game, she had made just 13 of her previous 64 field goal attempts, which is just 20.3 percent, and 10 of her last 43 3s, which is 23.3 percent.
Naturally, she heard from her dad.
“My biggest critic and my best supporter,” she calls him.
His advice was as it always is.
“If you’re a shooter, you have to keep shooting.”
Did she ever in this one. She made her first four shots, all from 3-point range, and finished the night with 23 points, 6-of-9 from 3, to lead WVU to its 17th win against four losses.
“We won only 19 last year,” coach Mike Carey would note after the game. “With all these injuries we’ve had, that’s pretty good. We’ll win more games this year.”
It’s a different team, a team without its leading scorer in Tynice Martin, but Teana Muldrow has stepped up big time, adding 18 points again to go with seven rebounds, while Chania Ray also scored 18 points and Naomi Davenport added 14 with five assists.
Texas Tech came into the game in almost as much trouble as WVU, who announced a day earlier that its top player, Martin, who had been out all season with a foot injury, would redshirt due to further surgery needed on her broken foot.
Tech, too, was without its leading scorer, out with a torn labrum. Recee Caldwell was averaging 10.7 points a game when she was injured against Baylor on New Year’s Eve.
In fact, the Lady Raiders had activated a student manager, Haley Bruedigam, a former Division II player, and played her 13 minutes in the game after an amazing trek to get here.
She flew from Lubbock to Houston to Pittsburgh and then took an Uber from the Pittsburgh airport to the team hotel here.
On New Year’s Day, Tech fired its coach, Candi Whitaker, and replaced her with Shimmy Gray-Miller on an interim basis, who inherited a team that is now 7-13 and 1-8 in Big 12 play.
Things didn’t exactly improve, Tech losing five of six games under Gray-Miller, the last by the rather embarrassing score of 90-36 to Texas.
And the start wasn’t much better against WVU in a first quarter that belonged to Pardee, who hit all four of the 3-point shots she took as WVU rushed off to a 24-10 lead.
The Mountaineers defense was making a huge difference, forcing nine first-quarter turnovers and outscoring the Lady Raiders, 16-2, on points off turnovers.
The second quarter was pretty much more of the same as WVU ran its advantage in points off turnovers — Texas Tech’s total increasing to 17 — to 23-2.
The sloppy play by the Lady Raiders gave WVU far too many opportunities and by the half Pardee and Muldrow combined were outscoring Tech, 30-23 — Pardee with 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from 3 and Muldrow with 14 points.
Halftime did nothing to cool off the Mountaineers and Pardee ran her point total to 23 after three quarters while Ray got hot from 3 as the Mountaineers scored 30 points in the quarter.
Ray accounted for 10 of them.
The defense continued to dominate the game as the difference in points off turnovers grew to a rather unbelievable 34-2 and by the time the game ended WVU had forced 30 turnovers and scored 38 points off them to just four for Texas Tech.
It won’t be as easy the next time WVU takes the floor as come Sunday in the Coliseum the opponent will No. 3 Baylor, led by 6-foot-7 Kalani Brown.
“We will show up and come to play,” Carey said. “We’re not afraid to play people.”