On Saturday night, the No. 2 seed West Virginia women’s basketball team defeated No. 3 seed Oklahoma State, making that their second night in-a-row of winning and advancing to the Big 12 Championship game against Baylor.
“It’s very satisfying, you know, you’ve got to give all the credit to the players that are here,” WVU head coach Mike Carey said following the win. “I mean, they’re playing a lot of minutes, a lot of minutes more than what they should be playing but they’re finding a way to win.”
Against OSU, Esmery Martinez, Kysre Gondrezick and Kirsten Deans combined for 47 points in the win, as they helped the Mountaineers reach the Big 12 Championship for the first time since 2017.
“I thought Esmery (Martinez) played very well coming out of what she did yesterday. (She) came out and played very well, 19 points and 15 rebounds,” Carey said. “You know, Kysre (Gondrezick) did what Kysre does. I thought K.K. (Deans) did an excellent job on their point guard, No. 21, so she did a great job on her.”
The Mountaineers headed into the fourth quarter with a 17-point lead, but they started to sit back and let the clock run out. The Cowgirls won the fourth quarter, 15-7.
“Then we got lazy on defense and then we started taking bad shots, throwing the ball away and all of that. We can’t do that tomorrow, we want to play hard for 40 minutes, take care of the ball for 40 minutes and block out for 40 minutes.”
On Friday night, Carey promised that his team would be much better on Saturday. Carey proved his statement to be true.
“I just think my experience in tournaments is the first game, you just got to get over that first game; you’ve got to find a way to win that first game,” Carey said. “Second game, you kind of settled down a little bit, you executed a little bit more. I thought we did that at times today. We executed a little bit more, hit some shots and were able to get the win.”
West Virginia will take on the Baylor Bears in the Big 12 Championship game Sunday at noon. The game will be on ESPN+.
“Baylor, they just keep shooting till they score, or you foul. So guards, posts, everybody’s going to step back and box out if we get a chance.”