WVU erases deficit, knocks off No. 23 Iowa State
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 00:02
With five games remaining in the season, the West Virginia women’s basketball team looked to helps its NCAA Tournament cause Sunday afternoon against No. 23 Iowa State.
After a cold shooting night against Oklahoma State Wednesday night, the Mountaineers wanted redemption against a Cyclones team that narrowly won in Morgantown a few weeks ago.
ISU had the hot start to get the game underway, jumping to a quick 10-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game. It shot 4 of 6 from the field and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc on the 10-0 run.
West Virginia couldn’t get it going in the early stages of the game, going 0 for 6 from the field. It wouldn’t let up, however.
Despite trailing by double digits, the Mountaineers fought all the way back and took the lead in the late stages of the game. When Iowa State was up 66-65 with seconds remaining, a turnover sparked an Averee Fields layup to give WVU a 67-66 lead with 12 seconds remaining.
An offensive foul call on the Cyclones’ sophomore guard Nikki Moody sent junior guard Brooke Hampton to the line for two critical shots with three seconds remaining. She nailed one of two to give West Virginia a 68-66 cushion. WVU held off any late-game magic to earn the much-needed road victory in front of 11,951 people.
"I thought we did a good job. We had to make it ugly, because we weren’t scoring, so we had to have more quickness and try to get some traps and turnovers," said head coach Mike Carey. "They (Iowa State) do a great job. They’re a great team and very physical. They had some foul trouble, and we were in foul trouble, but we were able to pull it off at the end. It’s a big win for us coming off a loss at home against Oklahoma State."
With the victory, West Virginia improved to 15-10 (7-7 Big 12), while Iowa State fell to 18-6 overall and a 9-5 conference record.
The Mountaineers got 41 bench points to add to their attack Sunday afternoon. Freshman guard Bria Holmes sparked WVU with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting. She also shot better than 50 percent from long range. Despite fouling out, senior center Ayana Dunning had 13 points and four rebounds for West Virginia.
"I thought Bria Holmes came off the bench and hit some good shots for us for a freshman in this kind of atmosphere," Carey said. "I want to say great crowd and great atmosphere. They do it right here. I think they deserve a lot of credit."
Even with the lingering troubles from the charity stripe (10 of 20, 50 percent), West Virginia shot 52 percent from the field. Both teams had 19 turnovers, but it was ISU’s trouble shooting that gave it fits, building on its early lead.
The Cyclones shot 21.7 percent from deep on 5-of-23 shooting. While they did have nine more free throw attempts than the Mountaineers, West Virginia was able to shoot the ball significantly better on this day. Iowa State shot 41.3 percent from the field.
For Iowa State, junior forward Hallie Christofferson would once again be unstoppable. Her 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting and six rebounds paved the way for ISU. Christofferson also made her 1,000th point Sunday. Moody added 14 points and four assists, despite turning over the ball eight times. Senior forward Chelsea Poppens would add 10 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks for the Cyclones.
Despite trailing at the half by five, West Virginia outscored Iowa State 46-39 in the second half. WVU also had 35 more bench points on the afternoon (41-6).
The Mountaineers will now travel to Fort Worth for a showdown next Saturday against TCU. Tipoff will be at 8 p.m.