WVU Women Roll Over Kansas
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s men’s basketball team takes pride in the toughness little James “Beetle” Bolden has shown this year, twice spraining an ankle, having a thousand other bumps and bruises at 160 pounds as he takes charge after charge.
But he is not alone.
If Bob Huggins calls him “a tough little guy,” make no doubt he’d be calling Chania Ray, Mike Carey’s point guard on the women’s team, “a tough little lady” for that she surely is.
She showed up for Wednesday night’s 76-46 victory over hapless Kansas, winners of only two Big 12 games, with a knee brace that looked like the size of the Texas panhandle — yes, even bigger than the West Virginia panhandle — the result of coming down wrong on her leg against Texas.
She tried a sleeve in her last game against Texas Tech, but that didn’t offer much help, so she switched to this rather ugly, complicated contraption.
“It’s huge, but it gets it done,” Ray said after playing 28 minutes on the injured knee, scoring nine points and dishing out nine assists while turning the ball over only once.
Carey has tried to ask her to go easy in practice but she’s a hard player to keep down.
“Coach tells me to get out of there in practice but he has to tell me five times,” she admitted.
Like the Eveready Bunny she just keeps going.
“It’s just one of those things,” she said. “I don’t say anything.”
And she didn’t say anything after she fell and banged her head hard on the floor.
“It wasn’t anything. Just had a little headache,” she said.
Certainly it was not as big a headache as she and Teana Muldrow gave to Kansas.
While Ray was dishing, Muldrow was scoring, scoring 17 first-half points and nearly outscoring Kansas herself.
Muldrow finished with 21 and added 11 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the year, tossing in three blocks for good measure along with an assist and a steal.
Naomi Davenport tossed in 15 and hit 6-of-8 shots but also had five turnovers, which was part of the reason Carey was hardly happy with his team’s play despite the score.
With a 19-7 record, 7-7 in the conference, he is convinced it’s sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble unless they get going through their final four games and the Big 12 Tournament.
“I told them if they play like this against Oklahoma, they’ll be on the other end of this score,” Carey said.
And there is much to back them up. Kansas’ horrible shooting, just 25 percent, kept the Jayhawks from being in the game but all the other stats showed them playing with WVU.
WVU led in rebounding, 37-34, but KU had 15 offensive rebounds to just seven. Kansas had 16 turnovers, WVU 15. WVU led in points in the paint, 22-16, led in points off turnovers only 19-17 and was behind in second chance points, 10-7.
“We need to win more games,” Carey maintains. “It’s there for us, but we have to win.”
They close at home with Oklahoma, which beat WVU in the first meeting but stands only 8-8 to the Mountaineers’ 7-7, then they go to Kansas State, play at Oklahoma State, where they will be the underdog, and then close at No. 3 Baylor.