The West Virginia University women’s basketball program has seen plenty of success since its beginnings in 1973, when Kittie Blakemore was asked to start a program to help the University conform to Title IX mandates.
The program, which has now featured six head coaches, has won two regular season conference championships (Atlantic 10 in 1992 and Big 12 in 2014) and a pair of conference tournament titles (Atlantic 10 in 1989 and Big 12 in 2017). The Mountaineers have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 12 times, advancing as far as the Sweet 16.
But what defines the program as much as anything are the superstar players who have worn the Blue & Gold uniform over the past 37 years. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 10 of the best to have suited up for the Mountaineers in the program’s storied history.
10. Tynice Martin – Having recently wrapped up her senior season, Martin is among the best to wear the WVU uniform. She’ll finish her Mountaineer career as the fourth leading scorer in school history with 1,980 points. If the postseason hadn’t been cancelled this past season, she almost certainly would have joined former Mountaineers Cathy Parson (2,113), Rosemary Kosiorek (2,061) and Bria Holmes (2,001) in the 2,000-point club. A native of Atlanta, Martin averaged 15.3 points per game and is in the top five in school history in 20-point games, field goals made and three-point field goals made. An All-Big 12 first-team selection as both a sophomore and junior and a second-team selection as a senior, Martin was the Big 12 Championship’s Most Outstanding Player in 2017 when she led the Mountaineers to the tournament title.
9. Liz Repella – A 5-foot-11 guard from Steubenville, Ohio, Repella was a second-team All-Big East selection in 2009 and then landed on the first-team list in 2010 and 2011. She completed her WVU career with 1,641 points, 716 rebounds and 162 assists. As a senior, she averaged 14.7 points per game and was a force on the defensive end with 68 steals and 34 blocked shots.
8. Kate Bulger – The first WVU player ever drafted into the WNBA, Bulger was the 38th pick of the Minnesota Lynx in 2004. A Pittsburgh native, she started every game in her Mountaineer career and led the team in scoring in each of her four seasons. She finished her career with 1,732 points, averaging 15.1 per game. As a senior in 2004, the WVU Sports Hall of Famer ranked 12th nationally with 2.9 3-pointers per game. That same season, she led the Mountaineers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1992.
7. Meg Bulger – Bulger burst onto the scene, following in the footsteps of her older sister Kate and winning Big East Rookie of the Year honors during the 2003-04 season. As a sophomore, she became the first WVU player, male or female, to win a scoring title, averaging 18.6 points per game in Big East play. She finished her career fifth all-time in scoring with 1,665 points and second in 3-pointers with 265. The WVU Sports Hall of Famer finished her career as the program’s all-time leader in 3-point percentage, shooting .437 from long distance.
6. Olayinka Sanni – A two-time All-Big East first-team choice, Sanni was an AP All-America honorable mention selection during her senior season in 2008. That year she averaged a career-best 16.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. For her career, the Illinois native scored 1,602 points and grabbed 773 rebounds, along with 83 blocked shots. She was the 18th overall pick of the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Detroit Shock. She played three seasons in the WNBA, two with Detroit and one with Phoenix, and averaged 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.
5. Asya Bussie – A 6-foot-4 center from Randallstown, Maryland, Bussie was on the All-Big East freshman team in 2010 and two years later was a first-team All-Big East pick. Her final season in 2014, she landed on another all-conference team as a first-team All-Big 12 selection. Bussie ended her WVU career with 1,497 points and 853 rebounds, averaging 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest. She was selected in the second round of the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx.
4. Georgeann Wells – Known worldwide as the first women’s college basketball player to dunk in a game, the 6-foot-7 center from Columbus, Ohio, averaged a double-double for her career with 14 points and 10 rebounds. She scored 1,484 career points, grabbed 1,075 rebounds and totaled a school record 436 blocked shots. Her 17 blocked shots against Marshall in 1983 are also a single-game record. After graduating from West Virginia University, the WVU Sports Hall of Famer briefly toured with the Harlem Globetrotters.
3. Cathy Parson – The first female inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, Parson finished her Mountaineer days as the school’s all-time career scoring leader with 2,113 points from 1980-83. She averaged 17.5 points per game over the course of her career. In 121 games played, Parson reached double figures in scoring 108 times, and she led the Mountaineers to their first 20-win season in 1982, when they finished 20-11. She was the first women’s player to have her jersey retired, and she was selected for a tryout with the Harlem Globetrotters.
2. Bria Holmes – Only the third WVU player to reach the 2,000-point mark, Holmes finished her career with 2,001, averaging 14.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. She was the second Mountaineer player to receive all-conference first-team honors in three straight years, and she led her team to the NCAA Tournament in three of her four seasons. West Virginia tied for the Big 12 regular season title in 2013-14 during Holmes’ sophomore season. She became the first Mountaineer to be selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft when she was selected with the 11th overall pick by the Atlanta Dream in 2016. She is still playing in the WNBA as a member of the Connecticut Sun.
1. Rosemary Kosiorek – The most decorated player in the history of the Mountaineer program, Kosiorek led WVU to a No. 11 national ranking and a 26-4 record as a senior in 1992. As a junior, she was the first player to lead the Atlantic 10 in both scoring (20.2) and assists (6.2), and as a senior she helped the Mountaineers win 22 games in a row, including an A-10 regular season title. She finished her career with 2,061 points and 725 assists, and she led WVU to the Sweet 16 as a senior. A Kodak All-American, she received the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award as the nation’s best player under 5-foot-5. A member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, the Baltimore native was invited to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team and the WNBA.