West Virginia passed their first Big 12 test


No. 9 ranked West Virginia remains undefeated after their first game in Big 12 play. They were able to claim a 87-82 victory over TCU, thanks to a 34-point  dominant fourth quarter.

More from High Post Hoops

Before conference play started, the question rolled around “Is WV legit?” Head coach Mike Carry spoke upon their lack of depth and their need to be perfect in spite of injuries. Carry told The Dominion Post “We’ve got to go in and play perfect, which is a shame,” Carey said. “We’re not deep, so you have to hope that nobody gets in foul trouble or gets hurt or gets sick.” The Mountaineers were finding a way to get it done all of non-conference without their All-Big 12 guard Tynice Martin. Just as they were getting in a groove, starting forward Kristina King went down with a broken foot. Now their team would really be tested.

Prior to the game senior guard Teana Muldrow told The Summitt, “I think [the lack of depth] will play a part in a good way. We definitely miss [Kristina King] on the court, but it will test the rest of us to see how much of a team we are. [This game] will just test us to stick together.”

Indeed sticking together is exactly what they did. A career-high 32 points for Naomi Davenport is what really stands out, but if you look a little closer she had some quiet help. Point guard Chania Ray finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Teana Muldrow notched her seventh double-double of the season with 20 points and 17 rebounds.

Naomi Davenport, a juco product in her first year with the Mountaineers, was unstoppable. Davenport went 13-of-23 to set career highs for field goals made and field goals attempted. She just missed a double-double with nine rebounds, and added a pair of steals and a block as well. She was a steady machine that TCU had no answer for.

One aspect of the game that Mike Carry touched on was the minutes played by his starters. When he said, “Our rotation right now isn’t very good. Our bench play is not good. Big 12 play is here, so we have to go out and play”..he meant it. Davenport played 39 minutes while Muldrow and Ray each didn’t leave the floor. Katrina Pardee found herself in some foul trouble and only played 24 minutes, but she made those 24 minutes count. Pardee finished with 17 points, while 15 of those came in the fourth quarter. She put up two 3-pointers and added two free throws to push WVU’s lead to double digits and basically seal the game with 1:11 to play.

What’s Next? 

The Mountaineers have passed their first test in Big 12 play, but they have an even harder one coming on Sunday. West Virginia will travel to Austin, Texas to take on the No. 8 Texas. The Longhorns are coming off a 88-78 road win against Oklahoma. In that game junior guard. Lashann Higgs scored a career-high 25 points. Ariel Atkins, Brooke McCarty, and Jatarie White each contributed double figures in the win. The Longhorns now have their full squad back as Joyner Holmes has returned from her suspension. West Virginia is going to have to limit their mistakes if they want to return to Morgantown 14-0. Tip-off in the Frank Erwin Center is slated for 3:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by Fox Sports Net.