WVU Women Shoo Jayhawks With Fourth Quarter Outburst
The University of Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse may be an unsolvable venue for West Virginia’s mens basketball team, but the women’s squad has been quite comfortable there. Led by a 20-point performances from Tynice Martin and Kysre Gondrezick, the Mountaineers ran away in the fourth quarter for a 68-49 win over the Jayhaws on Wednesday evening. The win ran WVU’s record to 7-2 all-time in the building.
The Mountaineers outscored the Jayhawks 18-6, in the final ten minutes in pushing their record to 12-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12.
Martin, a redshirt senior guard, led all scorers with 23 points. It was her third 20-point performance of the season, going 8-of-19 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. With her 23 points against the Jayhawks, Martin now has 1,767 career points, good for No. 5 on WVU’s all-time scoring list. She passed Talisha Hargis (1995-98; 1,751 points) for No. 5 on the list.
Gondrezick logged 21 points for back-to-back 20-point performances and her seventh of the season. Sophomore forwardKari Niblack dominated the glass, grabbing 11 rebounds, including nine defensive boards. She also tallied seven blocks, the most for the Mountaineers in a Big 12 game since Teana Muldrow recorded six blocks at Texas on Dec. 31, 2018.
Both teams found themselves scoreless through the opening three minutes of the first, but Martin ended the drought with a pair of free throws and a jumper from the wing. Kansas got on the board shortly after with a layup. Niblack scored on an assist from Gondrezick, as WVU headed to the first media timeout up 6-2.
The Jayhawks struck first coming out of the timeout with a pair of free throws, before Mariane De Carvalho added a jumper to tie the game at 6-6. Freshman guard Kirsten Deans quickly responded with a 3-pointer from the corner to regain the lead, but KU tied the game with a trey of its own. Deans added her second score of the game with just over 30 seconds to play in the first, but Kansas made its final three attempts of the quarter to lead 16-11 at the end of the first frame.
West Virginia quickly narrowed the gap to start the second quarter, as Gondrezick scored and Martin made a layup to cut Kansas’ lead to one. Gondrezick then scored on a fast break and sank a pair from the free-throw line to give WVU a three-point lead. The Jayhawks kept the game in reach by adding a pair of free throws and scoring under the basket, but WVU still led by one at the second quarter media timeout.
Martin scored to stretch WVU’s lead back to three points after the timeout, and sophomore guard Madisen Smith added one more at the line to give the Mountaineers a four-point lead. Kansas continued to hang around with a pair of scores with just over three minutes to play in the half. Niblack and Deans both scored in the final minute to give the Mountaineers a five-point lead, but Kansas’ Aniya Thomas hit a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in the first half for a 31-29 West Virginia lead at halftime.
Kansas came out of the half to tie the game and take the lead with a layup and a free throw, but junior guard Arleighshya McElroy tied the game shortly after with a free throw. A pair of foul shots from Deans and two scores from Gondrezick helped WVU jump out to a five-point lead, as the Mountaineers went into the third-quarter media timeout leading 39-34.
Martin stretched WVU’s lead out to seven after the timeout, but Kansas countered with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to four points. Martin scored once more in the lane to keep the Jayhawks at bay, but KU sank another trey and tacked one more at the free-throw line to cut WVU’s lead to two points. Martin continued to provide the offensive spark for WVU as she scored the next five points to once again give WVU a seven-point lead over the Jayhawks. Smith drained a floater at the buzzer to end the third frame. The Mountaineers led by seven heading to the final quarter of play.
Smith scored again in the lane as WVU began the fourth, while Gondrezick and Martin both scored baseline jumpers to stretch the Mountaineer lead to double digits. Martin then scored again to take a 13-point lead over KU at the fourth-quarter media timeout. The Mountaineers dominated the Jayhawks in the fourth, going on an 18-6 run in the final eight minutes of play to move to 2-0 in conference play.
The Mountaineers finished the contest shooting 25-of-66 (37.9 percent) from the field and 16-of-19 (84.2 percent) from the free throw line. WVU was quiet from 3-point range, connecting on just 2-of-18 (11.1 percent), but edged Kansas in rebounds, 51-46.
Kansas struggled from the field, shooting 23.5 percent (16-of-68), but connected on five 3-pointers, shooting 22.7 percent from beyond the arc. The Mountaineers forced 12 Jayhawk turnovers in the contest.
West Virginia returns to Morgantown on Sunday, Jan. 12, as the Mountaineers prepare to do battle with Texas at the WVU Coliseum. Opening tip is set for 1 p.m. ET. Sunday’s game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Networks. Tickets are available at WVUgame.com.
Sunday’s Big 12 home opener against the Longhorns is a True Blue game, with all fans encouraged to wear blue. Fans also will receive a free ‘Beat Texas’ t-shirt, while supplies last, with admission to Sunday’s game. Sunday also is Family Day at the WVU Coliseum. Families can purchase four tickets and a $15 concession voucher available for just $25. The Mountaineers invite fans to bring a plush toy for the postgame Teddy Bear Toss.