WVU women out for revenge
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 23:02
One message is simple for the West Virginia women’s basketball team as of late: revenge.
The Mountaineers have used their past hiccups to get some redemption on teams they have struggled against this season. In its bout with Oklahoma, WVU won by 19 following a narrow 3-point loss in Norman earlier on in the season. West Virginia has used some of those losses to help it get past the opposition the second time around.
"I love it (seeing teams twice a year)," said junior guard Christal Caldwell. "We let one slip away at Oklahoma, and we came here on our home court and took care of business. We have to do that with a few more teams."
Senior center Ayana Dunning uttered a similar message earlier this season. It’s good to see teams twice because, well, revenge is often very sweet. WVU lost to Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State and Baylor for its first five Big 12 Conference defeats. For West Virginia, beating these opponents and splitting the series would be a huge success.
I’m aware Baylor is easily the toughest victory on the schedule. Arguably it has the best point guard in the country with Odyssey Sims and best overall player with Brittney Griner. West Virginia kept it far from embarrassing in Waco a few weeks ago. Granted, it was an 18-point loss, but this is Baylor we’re talking about here. Losing to such a stacked team by less than 20 points isn’t too bad.
Let’s not forget that it’s difficult to beat West Virginia at home under head coach Mike Carey. When the Lady Bears and Griner come to town in early March, WVU could give the powerhouse defending champions a run for their money.
How’s that for some sweet revenge? I often believe this WVU squad is as strong as it wants to be when there is a clear message it wants to send out to the opposing team.
You know the feeling when your favorite team loses because of one minor error here or one minor error there? Well, that’s what West Virginia feels like on its path to redemption and getting the last laugh. No one likes losing to the same team more than once in a season.
That revenge theme did take a back step Wednesday night when West Virginia fell to Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, by 13 points. While WVU did make it competitive in the second half, TTU just had too many free throw opportunities. In fact, the Lady Raiders had an insurmountable 36 points from free throws alone (42 attempts).
West Virginia needs to play with a chip on its shoulder to get back against some of the teams it fell to by a narrow margin earlier this season. It will have to play aggressive and have that will to get revenge on those teams that have the bragging rights.
The Mountaineers are a team that is very capable of making the NCAA Tournament, but they can’t be up and down anymore. This is the time where every game counts.
WVU looks to get that savory revenge against a Kansas team that beat it by one point in Morgantown earlier this season. That game will be played in Lawrence, Kan,, and it could be a very quality win for Carey’s squad.
WVU must get off to a fast start if it wants to win these revenge games and ultimately go to the big dance come March. The Mountaineers missed 31 attempts in the first half alone against Texas Tech Wednesday night (18.4 percent).
So, when West Virginia does get another crack at Kansas, Iowa State and Baylor, will it want that taste of vengeance and retribution, or will it fold in a similar fashion to Wednesday night?
Tony Dorsett said it best: "To succeed … you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you and something to inspire you."
For the Mountaineers, revenge is that motivation and inspiration.