No. 25 West Virginia ready for matchup with UVA
Published: Friday, November 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 30, 2012 00:11
The No. 25 West Virginia women’s basketball team will look to get back on track following two losses in the FIU Thanksgiving Classic, as it travels to Virginia to take on the Cavaliers Sunday.
After starting the season 3-0, the Mountaineers fell to LSU and Iowa last weekend in Orlando, Fla.
Now, WVU will look to go into Charlottesville and try to get a win against a 4-1 UVA squad. Virginia suffered its only loss Saturday against Syracuse by one point. The Cavaliers upset No. 17 Vanderbilt Friday to start the season 4-0.
In that game, UVA jumped to a 37-26 halftime lead on 15-of-22 shooting (68.2 percent.) The Commodores had no answer for Virginia’s Jazmin Pitts, who scored a career-high 20 points off the bench. In her 26 minutes of action, she made 9-of-14 shots.
The Mountaineers will have the task of beating Virginia and its 2-0 perfect home record. UVA will look to redeem itself, after a tough loss to the Orange following a foul call with 0.4 seconds left the Cavaliers with their first loss of the season.
Virginia will be led by sophomore forward Sarah Imovbioh, who is averaging 15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and a very impressive shooting percentage of 66.7 from the floor.
Leading West Virginia in scoring through five games is junior guard Taylor Palmer with 11.0 points per game. She was named to the FIU Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 19.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in the two games.
WVU will be coming off two tough losses to LSU and Iowa. In the 79-70 loss to the Hawkeyes, the Mountaineers allowed 54 points in the second half. Half of those points were off free throws in the physical affair in which 58 fouls were called. Palmer contributed a season-high five 3-pointers in the game.
"If the referees want to call it close, then you have to adapt to that," said head coach Mike Carey about the amount of foul calls against Iowa. "We just didn’t adjust to the referees. You look at the Iowa game, I think they only had 13 field goals; the rest of them (points) were from the foul line. We shot 25 more shots than they did. We hurt ourselves by not adjusting to the referees."
While West Virginia had some positives including an edge in the rebounding margin (41-39), creating 10 steals, being limited to 15 turnovers and having 15 points from the bench, the foul trouble did the damage.
"First of all, we’re very disappointed about our performance," Carey said. "We had leads in both games, (LSU/Iowa) and lost the leads which concerned me. I thought the chemistry is not there. We just have to come into practice and improve. The only way to improve is through working hard."
Carey said he recognized the task at hand in playing Virginia on its home court this weekend.
"They’re a very good basketball team," he said. "They’re playing very well right now. It’s going to be a good game. Both teams are going to play extremely hard. They have some scorers and a couple of post players that are very physical.
"We know it’s going to be a tough game. We improved our schedule this year, to go on the road and be tested early. It’s one thing to play some of those games; it’s one thing to win some of those games."
The Mountaineers will try to do just that and have a statement road victory against the Cavaliers. The action gets underway in Charlottesville at 2 p.m. Sunday.